The Government will sleepwalk into a patient safety nightmare if it does not listen to opposition to Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill, lawyers warn.
“In his obvious desire to help terminally ill people Lord Saatchi has become blind to the real consequences of his Bill for patients and doctors, and continues to push it regardless of reasoned opposition from experts,” said John Spencer, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) ahead of the Bill’s report stage in the House of Lords on Friday.
“Lord Saatchi’s aim is for the Bill to allow doctors to use innovative medicine and techniques without the fear of being sued,” Mr Spencer explained. “What this Bill will actually do is put patients at risk from maverick doctors, and we simply cannot allow that to happen.
“Despite being amended again and again, there is still no requirement in the Bill for a doctor to gain agreement from a colleague before carrying out a treatment which deviates from standard procedure. In effect this means the doctor can do what he likes.
“Doctors already know what is expected of them because the law on this has been clear for decades. So, the Medical Innovation Bill is not only a danger to vulnerable patients, it is also completely unnecessary”.