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Baroness Finlay of Llandaff's amendment, After Clause 164 (172)

Health and Care Act 2022

Report stage

Lead member

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff
Crossbench, Life peer
Lords

Decision

Agreed
This amendment was agreed to. Where a member has opposed a Clause standing part of a Bill, 'agreed' indicates that the Clause was removed from the Bill.

Amendment text

After Clause 164

Insert the following new Clause—

“Dispute resolution in children’s palliative care

(1) This section applies where there is a difference of opinion between a parent of a child with a life-limiting illness and a doctor responsible for the child’s treatment about—

(a) the nature (or extent) of specialist palliative care that should be made available for the child, or

(b) the extent to which palliative care provided to the child should be accompanied by one or more disease-modifying treatments.

(2) Where the authorities responsible for a health service hospital become aware of the difference of opinion they must take all reasonable steps—

(a) to ensure that the views of the parent, and of anyone else concerned with the welfare of the child, are listened to and taken into account;

(b) to make available to the parent any medical data relating to the child reasonably required to obtain evidence to inform the parent’s proposals for the child’s treatment (including obtaining an additional medical opinion);

(c) to allow the provider of an alternative treatment that is being advocated by the parent to provide evidence, in person or remotely, to the mediation process and subsequently to the court;

(d) to demonstrate the reasons that significant harm would be likely to be caused by the proposed treatment; and

(e) where the two parties are unable to resolve their difference of opinion, to allow for a mediation process, acceptable to both parties, between the parent and the senior doctor with overall clinical responsibility.

(3) Nothing in subsection (2) requires, or may be relied upon so as to require, the provision of any specific treatment by a doctor or institution, and in particular nothing in subsection (2)—

(a) requires the provision of resources for any particular course of treatment; or

(b) requires a doctor to provide treatment that the doctor considers likely to be futile or harmful, or otherwise not in the best interests of the child.

(4) In this section—

“child” means an individual under the age of 18;

“health service hospital” has the meaning given by section 275 of the National Health Service Act 2006 (interpretation);

“parent” means a person with parental responsibility for a child within the meaning of the Children Act 1989.

(5) Nothing in this section affects—

(a) the principle of the best interests of the child,

(b) the law about the appropriate clinical practice to be followed as to—

(i) having regard to the child’s own views, where they can be expressed; and

(ii) having regard to the views of anyone interested in the welfare of the child, whether or not a person concerned with the welfare of the child within the meaning of this section.”

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment aims to ensure that disputes between parents and doctors will be able to engage effective mediation.

Sponsors

Baroness Brinton
Liberal Democrat
Life peer
Baroness Stowell of Beeston
Conservative
Life peer
Baroness Masham of Ilton
Crossbench
Life peer