Amendments proposed to the Medical Treatment (prevention of Euthanasia) Bill, As Amended - continued House of Commons

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Exceptions

   

Mr Joe Ashton

NC26

To move the following Clause:—

    '—(1) It shall be lawful, if one of the requirements specified in subsection (2) below is satisfied, to discontinue artificial nutrition or hydration for a person who is unconscious, has no activity in his cerebral cortex and has no prospect of recovery from his condition.

    (2) The requirements referred to above are—

      (a) the approval of the court;

      (b) the consent given within the scope of his authority by the donee of a continuing power of attorney granted by the person concerned or by a manager appointed for him by the court;

      (c) if an order made by the Secretary of State so provides either generally or in cases of a specified description, a certificate in writing by a registered medical practitioner appointed by him for the purposes of this section (not being the one who is to take the proposed action) that it is appropriate for that action to be taken.

    (3) Section 3 above shall not apply to a decision made for the purposes of this section by the court, the donee of a powew, a manager or the practitioner referred to in subsection (2)(c) above but in making the decision regard is to be had to the matters mentioned in subsection (2) of that section.

    (4) The Secretary of State may by an order applying either generally or in cases of a specified description authorise the carrying out, subject to one of the requirements specified in subsection (2) above being satisfied, of any medical or surgical procedure in relation to a person without capacity to consent which, though not carried out for his benefit, will in the opinion of the Secretary of State not cause him significant harm and be of significant benefit to others.

    (5) Subsection (4) above does not apply to any procedure carried out for the purposes of research and nothing shall be done by virtue of an order under that subsection if the person concerned objects or it would be contrary to an advance refusal of treatment by that person.

    (6) In relation to any procedure to which an order under subsection (4) above applies the requirement in subsection (2)(c) above shall have effect as if it required the certificate to state also that the person concerned is without capacity to consent.

    (7) Before making an order under this section the Secretary of State shall consult such organisations as appear to him to represent persons affected by mental disability and shall also consult the Official Solicitor.

    (8) The power to make orders under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and no such order shall be made unless a draft of it has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.'.


Misdiagnosis

   

Mr Andrew Dismore
Mr David Rendel

NC27

To move the following Clause:—

      '.—It shall be a defence to a prosecution under the Act if the defendant can show his acts or omissions allegedly in breach of section 1 were carried out as a consequence of a bona fide clinical misdiagnosis.'.


Research programmes

   

Mr Andrew Miller

NC28

To move the following Clause:—

      '.—No prosecution will take place under this Act where medical treatment is administered as part of a properly authorised research programme.'.


Unlawful acts

   

Mr Andrew Dismore
Mr David Rendel

NC29

To move the following Clause:—

      '.—In the event of the patient's condition being the result of the unlawful act of another any breach of section 1 of this Act shall not relieve the person responsible for that unlawful act of the responsibility in law for its full consequences including the death of the patient.'.


Defence relating to recommendations of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence

   

Dr Alan Whitehead
Mr David Rendel

NC30

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—It shall be a defence to proceedings under section 1 of this Act to show that to have continued the treatment withheld or withdrawn would have been contrary to recommendations of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.'.


Defence relating to advice from the Commission for Health Improvement

   

Mr John Healey
Mr David Rendel

NC31

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—It shall be a defence to proceedings under section 1 of this Act to show that to have continued the treatment withheld or withdrawn would have been contrary to advice issued by the Commission for Health Improvement.'.


Defence relating to mainstream medical practice

   

Dr Howard Stoate

NC32

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—It shall be a defence to proceedings under section 1 of this Act to show that to have continued the treatment withheld or withdrawn would have been contrary to mainstream medical practice.'.


Offence of causing death of a patient

   

Dr Evan Harris
Dr Jenny Tonge
Dr Peter Brand
Mr David Rendel

NC33

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—Any person responsible for the care of a patient who commits any act or omission with the purpose of causing the death of a patient is guilty of an offence unless—

      (a) treatment is withheld on the grounds that providing treatment would be excessively burdensome to the patient; or

      (b) the patient is suffering from profound irreversible brain damage and the patient's best interests require that treatment no longer be provided; or

      (c) provision of treatment would be contrary to the informed decision of a competent patient; or

      (d) providing treatment would be contrary to specific instructions set out in a valid advance directive made by the patient when competent and in anticipation of his or her current circumstances; or

      (e) providing treatment would be contrary to the informed decision of any person lawfully entitled to make healthcare decisions on behalf of an incompetent patient; or

      (f) a declaration has been obtained from the court to the effect that withdrawing or withholding treatment would be in the best interests of the patient and consequently would not be unlawful.'.


Sentencing

   

Mr Andrew Dismore

Dr Howard Stoate

NC34

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) The sentence on conviction under section 1 shall be at the discretion of the trial judge.

    (2) Sentencing options available to the judge shall include but shall not be limited to—

      (a) a term of imprisonment,

      (b) community sentences,

      (c) conditional or absolute discharges.

    (3) In passing sentence, the judge shall take into account—

      (a) whether the defendant's acts or omissions—

          (i) were committed with intent to kill the patient,

          (ii) hastened or caused the death of the patient,

          (iii) were a consequence of his sole purpose;

      (b) whether the defendant was—

          (i) a registered medical practitioner with clinical responsibility for the patient,

          (ii) a qualified health professional other than a medical practitioner,

          (iii) a close relative of the patient,

          (iv) a person who had lived with the patient as a carer or companion for two years or more.

    (4) In this section—

      "qualified health professional" shall mean a nurse or other person who has undergone a course leading to a nationally recognised qualification;

      "close relative" shall mean a spouse, parent, child, grandparent or grandchild of the patient.'.


Penalties on conviction (No. 3)

   

Mr Andrew Dismore

NC35

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) The penalty for a conviction under section 1 shall be life imprisonment.

    (2) When passing sentence, the judge shall state in open court the tariff he considers should apply to the sentence.

    (3) When a person sentenced under subsection (1) above has served the tariff period, he shall be eligible for release on licence.

    (4) When considering whether a person should be released on licence the Home Secretary shall follow the advice of the Lord Chief Justice who, prior to giving such advice, shall if practicable consult the trial judge.'.


Penalties on conviction (No. 4)

   

Mr Andrew Dismore

Mr Michael Jabez Foster (Hastings and Rye)

NC36

To move the following Clause:—

    '.— The penalty for a conviction under section 1 shall be the same as that prescribed for murder.'


Penalties on conviction (No. 5)

   

Mr Andrew Dismore

Mr Andrew Miller

NC37

To move the following Clause:—

    '.— Upon conviction, a defendant shall be sentenced to life imprisonment without the option of release on licence.'.


Considerations on sentencing

   

Mr John Healey

NC38

To move the following Clause:—

    'When passing sentence upon a person convicted under section 1 the judge shall take into consideration the religious and moral beliefs of—

          (a) the defendant, and

          (b) if known, the patient.'.


Judge's directions

   

Dr Alan Whitehead

NC39

To move the following Clause:—

    'When giving directions to the jury on a trial on indictment under section 1, the judge shall direct that if the jury finds the purpose of the defendant was—

      (a) to kill with intent, then they should convict him of murder;

      (b) to recklessly or with gross negligence fail properly to care for the patient, that they should convict him of manslaughter.'.

 
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