Damn. Damn, damn, damn.
It turns out that the version of the Medical Innovation Bill I wrote about this morning isn’t the most recent: the most recent version is available here. Naïvely, I’d assumed that the government would make sure the latest version was the easiest to find. Silly me.
Here’s the updated version of §1(3): it says that the process of deciding whether to use an unorthodox treatment
(a) consultation with appropriately qualified colleagues, including any relevant multi-disciplinary team;
(b) notification in advance to the doctor’s responsible officer;
(c) consideration of any opinions or requests expressed by or on behalf of the patient;
(d) obtaining any consents required by law; and
(e) consideration of all matters that appear to the doctor to be reasonably necessary to be considered in order to reach a clinical judgment, including assessment and comparison of the actual or probable risks and consequences of different treatments.
So it is a bit better – it seems to take out the explicit “ask your mates” line.
However, it still doesn’t say how medics ought to weigh these criteria, or what counts as an appropriately qualified colleague. So, on the face of it, our homeopath-oncologist could go to a “qualified” homeopath. Or he could go to an oncologist, get told he’s a nutter, make a mental note of that, and decide that that’s quite enough consultation and that he’s still happy to try homeopathy anyway.
So it’s still a crappy piece of legislation. And it still enjoys government support. Which does, I suppose, give me an excuse to post this:
Many thanks to Sofia for the gentle correction about the law.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.