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Mental Capacity Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 1st February 2005.

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Photo of Lord Turnberg Lord Turnberg Labour 6:45 pm, 1st February 2005

I do not think it will come as a surprise to the noble Lord, Lord Alton, to learn that I have a lot of sympathy for his amendment. I like the idea that he expresses because it places emphasis on the role of the clinician, the person looking after the patient, to act as a sort of protector during research. That is absolutely critical.

While I have some problems with the exact wording used in the amendment, I like the idea behind it, but there may be a possible conflict with an advance directive if a clinician is responsible for protecting the life of a person against his advance directive. Some confusion may arise on that. However, I like the suggestion that the clinician looking after the patient must take some responsibility in this area.