Saatchi Bill axed …

The Liberal Democrats have vetoed a proposed law seeking to give doctors legal protection to use innovative treatments on patients when other options have been exhausted.

The Lib Dem Health Minister, Norman Lamb, said he wanted to avoid “the risk of unintended consequences” of Lord Saatchi’s medical innovation bill, which went unopposed in a third reading by the House of Lords and was set to go to the Commons.

To read Norman Lamb’s explanation of the reasons behind the veto decision, click here

Lord Saatchi said he was “in a state of shock” over the revelation, saying it was a “death sentence” for patients with diseases such as cancer, and has further commented,

“By killing the bill they have killed the hopes of thousands of cancer patients. It is as simple as that. Nick Clegg has handed down a death sentence to cancer patients. It is an extraordinary turn of events.

“This is a grotesque insult to the House of Lords. The Liberal Democrats are saying that the House of Commons will never debate this Bill which has been sent to it and passed by the House of Lords.”

(Lord Saatchi has been campaigning for a change in the law since his wife, novelist Josephine Hart, died of a form of ovarian cancer in 2011.)

To read more about the Saatchi Bill, its progress through the House of Lords, and AMMF’s comment, click here