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Archbishop calls for further amendment to Mental Capacity Bill

 Archbishop Peter Smith, Chairman of the Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship, has supported peers in pressing for a further amendment to the Government's Mental Capacity Bill in the Report stage debate today. While welcoming a key amendment made by the government, he said it still leaves a major gap. Archbishop Smith said: "It does not cover advance decisions. The clauses dealing with advance decisions, although tightened up, still leave open the possibility that an expressly suicidal advance decision is binding. "Such an advance decision in writing would prevent a doctor from acting to save a suicidally motivated person's life when the person was not dying and the treatment would not be burdensome. We hope the Bill's Code of Practice will give clear guidance to make this less likely. "I very much hope the government will reconsider its opposition to inserting such an amendment, which I firmly believe can be made without affecting the jurisdiction of the courts affirmed in the Bland case." Source: CCS