Stop the Saatchi Bill

Driven by an extraordinary two-year PR campaign on social media and a supportive newspaper partner, this all started as Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill, metamorphosed through several versions, and was resurrected under a new name by Chris Heaton-Harris, before finally clearing its last hurdle in the Lords this week to become the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Act. Pretty much the only thing they share is the word 'Innovation' in the title.

One day, it may be possible for politicians to ask the people who actually work in the medical field: what are the problems you face, and how can we help you overcome them?

One day, politicians may actually listen to the answers they receive, and thus try to tackle genuine problems rather than imagined ones.

One day, politicians, medics, researchers, lawyers, patient groups, charities, and the public, may work together to overcome the barriers to the development and provision of new treatments.

But it is not this day.

Read more: Not this day

Monthly Archives: June 2014

Bolam, Bolitho and Patient Safety

Guest post by José Miola, Professor of Medical Law at the University of Leicester Anyone who is interested in the Medical Innovation Bill will have heard a lot about the ‘Bolam test’, which is the test for negligence used in English law.  The Bill team has been careful to state that the Bill does not modify it at all – but instead…

Watch and read the transcript of the Second Reading

Today’s three-hour Second Reading of the Medical Innovation Bill in the House of Lords can be watched here: (Go to Parliament TV for other viewing options.) The full transcript can be found in Hansard. The speakers were, in order: 1. Lord Saatchi 2. Baroness Masham of Ilton 3. Lord Mackay of Clashfern 4. Baroness Bakewell 5. Lord Cormack 6. Baroness O’Neil of…

Damning report by Sir Robert Francis QC

In his damning report on the Medical Innovation Bill, Sir Robert Francis QC, with the support of Professor Sir Ian Kennedy QC, concludes: This Bill is, like its two or three predecessors, based on the fundamental misapprehension that the law of negligence inhibits genuine and responsible innovative treatment. Not only that, but for all its good intentions, it is actually dangerous for patients because it…

Ten Reasons to Oppose the Saatchi Bill

Re-blogged with permission from Ten Reasons to Oppose the Saatchi Bill by Nigel Poole QC Without waiting for the results of the government’s consultation on his earlier draft, Lord Saatchi has introduced a new version of the Medical Innovation Bill into the House of Lords. It is due to have a second reading on 27 June 2014. A copy of the…

Add our widget to your website

Putting the Stop the Saatchi Bill widget on your website/blog helps us: it spreads the word about the opposition to the Bill and, because it links back to this website, it increases the inbound links, which pushes us up search engine rankings, making it easier for others to find. A few people have asked for help in adding it to their…

Selling the Sizzle

Re-blogged with permission from Selling the Sizzle by David Hills (@WanderinTeacake). How the Saatchi Bill campaign undermined its own public consultation To you and me, the purpose of a consultation is to consult – to seek advice and guidance from interested parties, and to use that advice to shape your plans. This is not how the people behind the Medical…

The Saatchi Bill would not preserve the Bolam Test

Guest post by Nigel Poole QC I had understood the point of the Saatchi Bill as being to re-write the Bolam test of what constitutes clinical negligence. Lord Saatchi has claimed that the existing common law of clinical negligence is an obstacle to finding a cure for cancer. So, it is surprising to read a commentary on the new draft…

The New Legal Advice

Guest post by José Miola, Professor of Medical Law at the University of Leicester The Saatchi Bill team have in the last few days added some legal advice to the new version of the proposed Bill. It appears as Annex C in the briefing note, dated 10 June 2014. The main issue, perhaps, is the continued misrepresentation regarding the way that the…