This week, Lord Mackay introduced an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act bill that would mandate NHS entities to have access to both “clinical ethics committees” and formal “medical mediation.”
The law is based on a proposal drafted in memory of baby Charlie Gard in a bid to spare other families courtroom clashes with doctors. Charlie’s Law would compel hospitals to offer mediation with parents to resolve disputes before resorting to courts. It would also force the Government to provide access to clinical ethics committees to advise doctors and parents on life and death decisions.
Lord Mackay commented: “I am happy to have laid this amendment which seeks to prevent cases reaching court unnecessarily. This is a proportionate and long-overdue measure which I hope will be the first small step toward realising Charlie’s Law.” Note that the amendment does NOT include a key piece of Charlie’s Law. It does not empower parents to seek treatment elsewhere.