Former federal MP Kerryn Phelps has labelled the Morrison government's attempt to repeal the asylum seeker medical evacuation laws as "dummy spitting".
Dr Phelps, who was a lead advocate for the so-called medevac laws, appealed to the "conscience and ethics" of senators when urging them to retain the legislation.
"It's just dummy spitting that the government has pushed forward with this repeal because the legislation is working, it has been tested already," the former Wentworth MP said at a paediatric refugee health conference in Sydney on Friday.
The government is determined to scrap the medevac laws with a Senate committee examining the plan.
Dr Phelps said supporters of the legislation shouldn't rule out talking with One Nation, independent Senator Cory Bernardi and coalition senators as they fight to keep the laws which give doctors a greater say in medical transfers from Nauru and Manus Island.
"There has to be one amongst them whose conscience will drive them to vote to not repeal the medevac legislation," she said.
The local GP also expressed her shock that four medical professionals voted to repeal the legislation.
"In my reading of the code of conduct for medical practitioners ... this is a clear breach not to protect the wellbeing of individuals," she said.
More than 120 sick refugees have been approved for transfer to Australia since the legislation was enacted - against the government's wishes - in February.
Doctors Without Borders psychiatrist Beth O'Connor treated asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru before the laws were passed.
She said it was "incredibly difficult" to get anyone off the island for medical treatment and watched the deterioration of adults and children.
"I'm still really speechless that people didn't die when we were there. We were so close so many times," she said at Friday's conference.
Australian Associated Press