For almost 25 years, a piece of legislation best known for the Liberal politician who brought it into being has prevented the ACT and NT from making its own euthanasia laws.
So what is the so-called Andrews bill? Why was it introduced? And how has it survived this long?
A world first
On 25 May 1995, the NT parliament went where no legislature had gone before.
In a push spearheaded by then NT Chief Minister Marshall Perron, the territory became the first jurisdiction in the world to pass laws allowing a doctor to end the life of a terminally ill patient at the patient's request.
The bill sparked a storm in Australia and overseas.
The then-president of the Australian Medical Association, future Howard government minister and Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson said it devalued human life. Pro-choice groups heralded the legislation as an historic and positive step.
On September 22, 1996, Bob Dent become the first person to die under the NT's Rights of the Terminally Ill Act.
He would be just one of four.
A Commonwealth bill to stop 'lethal injection'
Unlike the states, the Commonwealth has plenary - or absolute - power over the two territories, meaning it can overrule laws passed by the NT Parliament and ACT Legislative Assembly.
Liberal backbencher Kevin Andrews sought to harness that constitutional power to strike out the NT's euthanasia legislation less than a year into its existence. Andrews also wanted to prevent the ACT making similar laws in the future.
Presenting his bill to the House of Representatives in September 1996, Mr Andrews declared the NT laws sought to allow one thing: "the use of a lethal injection to bring about the immediate death of another".
Mr Andrews would argue that as it was ultimately responsible for the NT, the Commonwealth couldn't "wash its hands" of a decision of life or death taken by a jurisdiction with the population the size of a "suburban municipality in Melbourne or Sydney".
Opponents, including ACT Senator Kate Lundy, condemned the Andrews' bill as discriminatory against the people of the territories.
Those protests were to not avail. The bill - officially titled the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 - passed 38 votes to 33.
There have been numerous attempts to revoke the bill in the past two and half decades.
The closest it has come to being overturned in recent years was in 2018, when David Leyonhjelm's push to repeal the Andrews bill was defeated by just two votes in the Senate.
Senator Leyonhjelm's legislation had been widely tipped to pass, before a handful of parliamentarians, including from the Liberals, Labor and Nationals, flipped and voted 'no'.
- This story is part of Our Right To Decide campaign. The Canberra Times is advocating for the ACT to have the right to legislate on voluntary assisted dying, like other states.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: