It's a story that made headlines in recent days, across the country and now reaction to the story is making headlines across Canada, including reaction from Saskatchewan Senator Denise Batters.
As many of you will know, Batters, a graduate of the U of S Law School and former Chief of Staff at Saskatchewan Justice, lost her husband, our former Palliser Member of Parliament, Dave Batters...to suicide several years ago now. Dave Batters battled depression and anxiety for a long time before taking his own life.
Senator Batters is making headlines this week after a recent Angus Reid poll showed Canadians want strict safeguards on physician-assisted suicide. The poll shows that a strong majority of Canadians oppose the extension of physician-assisted suicide solely on the grounds of psychological suffering or non-terminal illness.
78% of those surveyed indicated that psychological suffering should never be the sole reason for accessing physician-assisted suicide.
82% of the individuals surveyed indicated support for physician-assisted suicide in cases of terminal illness with a prognosis of less than six months to live. That support plummeted to 35% for cases involving chronic or non-terminal illnesses.
These findings stand in stark contrast to the recommendations of the Special Joint Parliamentary Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying. The Committee majority recommended in February that terminal illness should not be required for doctor-assisted death, and that psychological suffering should be permitted as a sole basis for accessing physician-assisted suicide.
Senator Batters explained her position to CHAB's Rob Carnie.