Medical Innovation Bill Second Reading 27 June 2014
The second reading of the Medical Innovation Bill (‘The Saatchi Bill’) is due to take place in the House of Lords on 27 June 2014. The Bill aims to promote medical innovation by changing the current clinical negligence law in relation to decisions by doctors to provide treatment. It is well intentioned, but fundamentally flawed and, in its current form, is opposed by the vast majority of medical professional bodies and charities who are concerned that it will remove vital patient protections, risk reckless practice and harm medical research.
In response to the first consultation of the Bill, which took place in April 2014, Medical Solicitors’ Director Caroline Moore raised the following concerns:-
The draft Bill could be open to a lot of interpretation and debate. It seems to me, if the Bill is passed in that format , it is not going to prevent litigation and adjudications will be necessary by the court in order to clarify the position.
For my own part, I consider that a patient is entitled to know, if treatment is proposed in this manner, that the treatment is one that is unusual, or new, or one that other doctors are not/may not be undertaking. Consent should be full in that respect.
This does not appear to be specified presently in the Bill. I do not know whether this is the intention of that part of the Bill. If it is not the intention, then I think it should be. If I put myself in the position of patient then I would want the Dr to be most specific in the advice given to me about the unusual nature of the treatment proposed.
A copy of the new draft Bill can be found here:- http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2014-2015/0004/lbill_2014-20150004_en_2.htm#l1g2
For more information we recommend the following websites:-
APIL’s briefing on the Medical Innovation Bill ahead of 2nd reading in the House of Lords on Friday
Nigel Poole QC ’10 reasons to Oppose the Saatchi Bill’