11.Memorandum from Professor the Baroness
Finlay of Llandaff (MIB 1186)
I am aware that your joint committee will shortly
be considering the Mental Incapacity Bill.
As you may be aware, I have tabled an amendment
to the Patients' Protection Bill, introduced By the Noble Baroness,
Lady Knight. This amendment should hopefully be incorporated at
third reading. It concerns incapacity and I hope it is compatible
with the draft Mental Incapacity Bill.
I would be grateful if you could confirm to
me that, in the event of the definitions being amended in the
Mental Incapacity Bill, the wording would then also automatically
amend the Patient's Protection Bill. This will be important to
ensure we do not end up with more than one legal definition for
I am most grateful to you for your advice.
I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss
with your committee the problems of incapacity in the seriously
medically ill and particularly in the terminally ill patients.
There may be issues around the workability, as you alluded to
in the themes to the scope of enquiry on the Bill. I have particular
concerns over legally binding advance directives in patients whose
levels of competence rapidly fluctuate and are difficult to assess.
I do hope I can be of assistance.