Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [HL] - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Barker Baroness Barker Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Voluntary Sector) 6:30 pm, 22nd October 2018

I want to make it clear to the noble Baroness that I am not talking about bringing these two pieces of legislation together. I know some people have suggested that that should be done, but I am not asking for that. I am simply suggesting that this legislation, which makes a substantial change to what has been the basis of decision-making about best interests on the basis of harm to self, is now going to include harm to others. We were told back in the summer, when the Minister sent us a letter, that the Government were waiting for the outcome of the Mental Health Act review to see what the impact would be. We are now being told, as the noble Baroness, Lady Stedman-Scott, confirmed, that that basis of decision-making is changed by this legislation. It is linked to the necessary and proportionate assessment that people will have to make. I think that is a major change that will perhaps result in the detention of quite a number of people. I do not think it is unreasonable for the Government to wait until Sir Simon Wessely has published his report to ensure that the two pieces of legislation are not drifting further apart.