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Mental Capacity Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 25th January 2005.

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Photo of Baroness Barker Baroness Barker Social Services, Non-Departmental & Cross-Departmental Responsibilities 7:15 pm, 25th January 2005

I similarly begin by dealing with this group of amendments in reverse. I was very encouraged by the response of the noble Baroness to the point of the noble Earl, Lord Howe. It is extremely helpful and welcome that the Minister will make those clarifications in the codes of practice.

I was also relieved to hear what the noble Baroness said, particularly in response to the noble Baroness, Lady Chapman. I believe that the big areas of concern for many of us are those forms and types of communication which take time, as the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh, said, and where interpretation is a key factor to understanding.

I did not think that the Minister's response to the noble Baroness, Lady Greengross, was quite good enough. The opposite of "complex" is not "general". An explanation can be simple and specific—I am taking the Minister on as regards semantics. The drafting of Clause 3(2) is not good enough. The point of the noble Baroness, Lady Greengross, was right: it is possible to give a simple, specific explanation to somebody; it is not good enough to give them a general explanation. The Minister is wrong and the Government should look again at the drafting of that paragraph to address the concerns of the noble Baroness.