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MENTAL INCAPACITY

EDM (Early Day Motion) 1183A1: tabled on 09 May 2002

Tabled in the 2001-02 session.

This motion has been signed by 9 Members. It is an amendment to an existing motion.

As this motion is using historical data, we may not have the record of the original ordering, in which case signatories are listed alphabetically.

This is an amendment to an existing motion

This motion was originally tabled by Mr Andrew Dismore on 23 April 2002. This is amendment number 1.

View details of the original motion

Suggested amendment

leave out from 'area' to end and add: 'regrets however that the 1999 White Paper, Making Decisions on which the Government has suggested new legislation would be based, would allow the lives of patients to be purposely ended by the withdrawal of food and fluid; notes that this practice has been condemned repeatedly by the Chief Rabbi, by the British Muslim community, the Evangelical Alliance, the Catholic Church and many other sections of British society; further notes that those same groups have also expressed serious doubts about some aspects of "Making Decisions"; further regrets that the Government has failed to introduce any legislation or safeguards to stop hospitals and doctors from adopting the British Medical Association's Guidelines on Withholding and Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Treatment which promoted the concept of withdrawing assisted food and fluid from patients in a wide range of cases; recalls the paper published in the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of Scotland Newsletter of April 1996 in which the assisted-suicide advocate, Professor Sheila McLean, described this form of treatment to end the lives of PVS patients and others who are not dying as "a form of non-voluntary euthanasia"; and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to honour its pledge to oppose euthanasia and introduce legislation to prevent the purposeful killing of patients by omission.'.

Original motion text

That this House calls for statutory safeguards for people who do not have the mental capacity to make decisions as a result of disability or injury; welcomes the Government's commitment to reform in this area contained in the 1999 White Paper, Making Decisions, while regretting that it has failed to find time to introduce an actual Bill; notes that an Incapacity Act has already been passed in Scotland; further notes the comments of Lord Justice Brooke in the Court of Appeal on 22nd October 2001 that the courts have found it necessary to invent procedures and to revive principles of common law in an attempt to plug gaps until such time as Parliament enacts a new, widely embracing, statutory rights based scheme; and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to introduce a Mental Incapacity Bill at the earliest possible opportunity.