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Mental Capacity Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 1st February 2005.

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Photo of Baroness Knight of Collingtree Baroness Knight of Collingtree Conservative 4:30 pm, 1st February 2005

I think that if one wished to be balanced in the matter, one might seek other information, not just from the people most closely concerned. What the right reverend Prelate said was most hurtful, because I assure the Committee that I did not introduce the Patients' Protection Bill because of a flight of imagination. If he would like to meet the people who talk to me about their concerns, including the Member of Parliament whose wife was affected, I would be more than happy to arrange it. I will, if he wishes, also arrange to let him see the newspaper reports and details of the television programmes. The facts were such that they worried me. I talked to people and heard what they had to say; I introduced the Bill, and later this amendment, because of what they said.

I do not doubt for a moment that the best interests of the patients are intended to be at the heart of the Bill. I do not dissent from that, quarrel with it or fail to notice it. All we were trying to say was that the protection for patients against what had been happening could be more clearly written in the Bill. We were certainly not saying that the Bill did not have the very best of good intentions.

I was particularly pleased to hear what the noble Baroness said about consultation being imperative. The Member of Parliament I mentioned was not consulted, yet his wife was being systematically starved. We could use the Bill to ensure that patients receive better protection.

I am so impressed with what the noble Baroness has said that I should like to consider carefully every point she has made and talk with my noble friend Lady Masham and others on this matter. If we may also talk with the Minister and there are still concerns, we can return to them at a later stage. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.