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Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:30 pm on 16th October 2003.

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Photo of Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Baroness Finlay of Llandaff Crossbench 1:30 pm, 16th October 2003

I support the amendment. I know that everyone is hungry and I do not wish to give a lecture on bio-ethics, but I remind the Committee that as well as autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence, there is also the principle of justice. Justice demands that the patient has the right to the best treatment within the resources available, but it also demands the just allocation of resources. It is completely dependent on management to allow the just allocation of resources and to allow the other principles of ethics to be invoked. Beyond those four principles, there are also issues surrounding scope and the size of the decision, and so on. That is a fundamental and important principle if foundation trusts are really to serve the population they are intended to serve; that is, people who are extremely vulnerable.