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: October 2014

What the Lords Missed

Guest post by José Miola, Professor of Medical Law at the University of Leicester The House of Lords considered the amendments to the Medical Innovation Bill on Friday 24 October. Many of their Lordships’ suggested changes — which would have done much to limit the damage inherent in the Bill — were simply rejected by the government and Lord Saatchi. In this…

Protecting the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Re-blogged with permission from Protecting the Doctor-Patient Relationship by Nigel Poole QC This week the media has constantly repeated the claim that the Saatchi Bill “protect doctors from litigation” if they try new treatments for terminally ill patients. It is true that the Bill seeks to protect doctors from being sued in negligence. But the following questions might be asked: 1.…

Responsible Medical Innovation

Re-blogged with permission from Responsible Medical Innovation by Nigel Poole QC The Medical Innovation Bill will shortly be in Committee stage in the House of Lords. Lord Saatchi has tabled amendments to produce a consolidated Bill. The Bill’s purpose is to promote medical innovation. It targets clinical negligence law as being, in Lord Saatchi’s view, the obstacle to innovation. Clear evidence…