A parliamentary Bill which aims to allow doctors to use innovative medical treatments without fear of being sued is founded on myths, say lawyers.
The Medical Innovation Bill is to be debated by members of the House of Lords on Friday.
“We are particularly worried about the notion that the Medical Innovation Bill would only apply to dying people who are willing to give anything a chance,” said John Spencer, president of the not-for-profit Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
“In fact, the Bill would affect all patients who, in their vulnerability, may be tempted to take risks at the hands of maverick doctors who are over-ambitious in their drive to make names for themselves”.
APIL has produced a Myth vs Reality report to debunk claims made by the team backing the Medical Innovation Bill.
Mr Spencer added: “The Bill is both ill-conceived and completely unnecessary. We hear wonderful stories of medical breakthroughs every day, and have heard no cases of a doctor being sued for using an innovative treatment. The current legal requirement of doctors has been helping to protect patients for nearly 60 years. If a lack of understanding is in fact stopping some doctors from taking what could be the best course of action for their patients, then there should be an effort to educate, not legislate”.