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

It’s like déjà vu all over again…

Guest post by José Miola, Professor of Medical Law, University of Leicester. So Chris Heaton-Harris MP’s Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill (AMTIB), the latest version of Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill (MIB), was voted through its second reading today by 32 votes to 19. This was despite informed, intelligent comments from Heidi Alexander MP and Sarah Wollaston MP, which…

A Dangerous Game

In its tacit support for the Saatchi Bill, the Department of Health is playing with patient safety Let me take this opportunity, on the question of the Government’s support, to reiterate that this is a private Member’s Bill. This is not a Government Bill. — George Freeman MP, Adjournment Debate on Medical Innovation Bill, 9th December 2014 To the casual observer,…

A Deadly Hydra

Lord Saatchi’s much-criticised Medical Innovation Bill has risen again, while a second Bill echoes Saatchi under a new name. Both Bills put patients “at grave risk” When Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill ran out of time in the last Parliament, it was a cause for great relief. A Bill that had been widely condemned by medical and patient protection groups, medical…

Call to action!

We need your help. We need you to make sure your MP knows the facts about Chris Heaton-Harris’s Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill, which will have its Second Reading in the House of Commons this coming Friday, 16th October. This is an important opportunity for MPs to discuss and thoroughly scrutinise the Bill. This new Bill is being touted as the…

Side by side

Chris Heaton-Harris’ Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill was touted as the successor to Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill, but is it? The hype suggests that the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill, a Private Member’s Bill being taken forward by Chris Heaton-Harris MP, is a direct replacement for Lord Saatchi’s much-derided Medical Innovation Bill (the Saatchi Bill). However, Saatchi’s original…

Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill 2015

Re-blogged with permission from Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill 2015 by Nigel Poole QC The Saatchi Bill has been “handed over” and is now in the Commons under a new name. Every criticism of the Saatchi Bill’s attempt to change the law of negligence still applies. Indeed because the new version fails to recognise that the common law has moved…

Two for the Price of One

What could be better than the Saatchi Bill? Two Saatchi Bills, if Lord Saatchi is to be believed. But we’ll all pay a high price for this Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer. On 18th June 2015, an extraordinary letter was published in the Independent, opposing Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill, which has been resurrected and returned to the House of Lords after being…

When the facts change….

Re-blogged with permission from When the facts change…. by Nigel Poole QC Lord Saatchi may be seeking to re-introduce his Medical Innovation Bill unchanged, but the common law he blames for preventing a cure for cancer, has moved on. In January 2015 the House of Lords sent the Medical Innovation Bill to the Commons. The Bill sought to provide doctors with…

Saatchi’s Bill could harm thousands

The Medical Innovation Bill, which would leave patients unprotected in the face of reckless medical experimentation, is before Parliament once more. The prospect should worry all of us [The Lib Dems] have killed the Medical Innovation Bill. It is dead. By killing the Bill they have killed the hopes of thousands of cancer patients. It is as simple as that.…