On 4 September, Lord James Mackay introduced an amendment based on a proposal drafted in the aftermath of the Charlie Gard case. The purpose of this proposal is to spare parents from clashes between families and doctors.
The amendment proposed by Lord Mackay, is part of a bill currently debated in Parliament on mental capacity and “seeks to prevent the escalation of treatment-related conflicts in the courts”. Hospitals would be required to offer “medical mediation” to families to “resolve disputes before going to court” and provide access to “clinical ethics committees” to “advise doctors and families on life and death decisions”.
Nevertheless, although this amendment is a major step towards anticipated reform, in its current form it will only apply to adult patients and will not allow treatment to be sought elsewhere.
“I am delighted to have proposed this amendment to prevent cases from unnecessarily reaching the courts”, announced Lord Mackay. “This is a measured and long-awaited strategy, which I hope will be the first step towards the materialisation of Charlie’s law”.
For further reading:
BioEdge, Xavier Symons (15/09/2018)