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

The British Medical Association

The British Medical Association

The BMA strongly believes that this Bill should not become law and, for the reasons outlined in this response, does not believe that primary legislation which focuses on redefining clinical negligence is the best mechanism to promote or encourage responsible innovation, should there be a need to do so, when other more suitable alternative approaches exist. The draft Bill is therefore unnecessary, risks removing important protections for patients and could encourage reckless practice, with attendant risks for patient safety.
Medical Innovation Bill Saatchi Bill
2014-06-03T23:18:11+01:00
The BMA strongly believes that this Bill should not become law and, for the reasons outlined in this response, does not believe that primary legislation which focuses on redefining clinical negligence is the best mechanism to promote or encourage responsible innovation, should there be a need to do so, when other more suitable alternative approaches exist. The draft Bill is therefore unnecessary, risks removing important protections for patients and could encourage reckless practice, with attendant risks for patient safety.