02/19/2016 11:07 EST | Updated 02/19/2017 05:12 EST

Senator Denise Batters Raises Concerns About Assisted-Suicide Laws

People suffering from mental-health challenges need support and resources even if they have given up on themselves, she said.

OTTAWA — A Conservative senator who became a mental-health advocate in wake of her husband's suicide wants to see psychological suffering excluded from future assisted-death legislation.

Sen. Denise Batters, the widow of former Tory MP Dave Batters, says people suffering from mental-health challenges including anxiety and depression need support and resources even if they have given up on themselves.

Senator Denise Batters is shown near the Senate chambers on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Thursday. (Photo: Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Batters, who says she unfortunately has insight into how a suicidal mind works because her husband took his own life in 2009, believes Canadians want to see strong safeguards in the upcoming bill.

A joint committee of senators and MPs is preparing recommendations to the government as it looks to draft legislation in response to a landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling last year.

The high court recognized the right of consenting adults enduring intolerable physical or mental suffering to end their lives with a doctor’s help.

The Liberals have indicated they won't allow their MPs a free vote on the future bill because it is a charter issue.


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