New Clause 1 — Excluded decisions
Orders of the Day — Mental Capacity Bill
Mr Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull North, Labour)
That is a matter for the parliamentary draftsman. The archbishop may be a distinguished social theologian, but he is not a parliamentary draftsman. I think the archbishop and the Lord Chancellor know what they mean in this matter. The motive must be to end the life. The question has always been whether the withdrawal of treatment is to end the life, and not what is in the best interests of the patient and is not burdensome.
On new clause 4, the failure of my hon. Friend Mr. Howarth to define "palliative care" will give lawyers a field day, whereas new clause 2 makes clear what is meant by "palliative care". Having seen the agreement that has been reached between the Government and Archbishop Smith, I will not vote against new clauses 1 and 2, but I will not vote for them because of the good will that I expressed to the Government for the undertakings that they have given.