EVERY state will be watching on closely after voluntary euthanasia laws came into effect in Victoria.
Victoria should be congratulated for taking the lead on what has been a hotly-contested issue in Australia for years.
The question of voluntary euthanasia continues to divide people on moral, ethical and even religious grounds, with politicians coming under increased pressure to find a way to make it work in our country.
But that's not an easy task and we should not be critical of politicians for treading carefully in this area.
The difficulty for politicians comes in finding the correct legislative framework that both empowers those who wish to end their own suffering while also protecting the state's most frail and vulnerable.
It is hard to argue against someone's right to choose to end their own life once the pain of their illness has become too much to bear. Most of us can readily see the logic and compassion of providing medical support to the dying if they wish to say their goodbyes on their own terms.
But the question becomes much murkier when we try to move from a philosophical position on voluntary euthanasia to a practical one.
Even if you support the notion of voluntary euthanasia - and surveys show that many Australians do - you should still feel some sympathy for the politicians tasked with drafting legislation to make it a reality in this state.
Because for every clear-cut case where someone with a clear mind is in a perfect position to decide to end their own suffering, there are countless cases where the circumstances are much more complex.
Any euthanasia legislation must ensure that the sick and vulnerable cannot feel pressured into making a decision they do not wish to and must ensure that all people considering euthanasia are mentally capable of such an important decision.
These are the grey areas that concern lawmakers - and rightly so - and that's why all eyes will be on Victoria to see just how it plays out.
If Victoria can make voluntary euthanasia work, with proper regard for all sides of the debate, then other states can as well.
Any legislation must be tightly written and there will inevitably be worthy cases of the sick and dying whose individual circumstances will not meet the criteria.
But Victoria has taken the lead, and NSW must be ready to follow.