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Monday, March 27, 2017
Professional groups endorse statement on Mental Capacity Bill
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¬†Twelve leading organisations, representing doctors, health care professionals and lawyers, have joined political, religious and lobbying groups to voice their grave concerns about several provisions in the Government's Mental Capacity Bill which receives its second reading in the House of Commons on 11 October. Their statement follows below: Whilst the Mental Capacity Bill may have the good intention of providing better protection for mentally incapacitated people against financial and physical abuse, in its present form it invites abuse and allows killing by omission of mentally incapacitated people because of the following: 1. legally binding advance refusals 2. vaguely defined 'best interests' without reference to health and life 3. the classification of food and fluids as medical treatment which can be withdrawn; and 4. intrusive research. We also note there is no right of incapacitated people to independent advocacy and the absence of a conscience clause to protect health professionals. The Bill, as it stands, therefore represents a wholly unacceptable loss of legal protection for people with mental incapacity. This statement is endorsed by the following organisations: Lawyers' Christian Fellowship* 0771 259 1164; Christian Medical Fellowship 0207 928 4694; Evangelical Alliance 0207 207 2100. ALERT Against Legalised Euthanasia ≠ Research and Training 020 7730 2800; CARE 020 7233 0455; Christian Peoples Alliance 0208 408 9304; Comment on Reproductive Ethics CORE - 0207 581 2623; Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics*(020 7806 4088; Maranatha Community* 0161 7484858; ProLife Party 020 7581 6939; Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)* 020 7222 5845; Dr Howitt Wilson, British Section, World Federation of Doctors who respect Human Life The Catholic Union of Great Britain - 020 8749 1321; All of the above organisations are happy to provide further information. Those organisations with an asterisk have recently prepared briefing papers on the Mental Capacity Bill. In order to receive a copy, please contact the organisation directly.
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