Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill finishes Lords stages

The Bill today (11 December) finished its final stage in the Lords, with the Commons yet to come.  With thanks once again to Tim Spencer-Lane for his succinct summaries, the key developments are:

  1. the Government’s “whistleblowing amendment” was passed which confirms that any relevant person who identifies during the authorisation stage that a cared-for person is objecting to arrangements is empowered to raise the matter with the responsible body and can trigger a review by an AMCP
  2. the Government confirmed that it would bring forward amendments in the Commons to make sure that the ability to trigger an AMCP review is in place as part of the ongoing review process.
  3. the Government confirmed it will not seek to change or overturn in the Commons the amendment passed on the necessary and proportionate assessment applying to harm to self (not harm to others) [1]
  4. the Government will “carefully consider” the amendment passed by the House of Lords on rights of information being provided to the person.
  5. the Government will not be “rushing through” amendments to give effect to the MHA review’s recommendations – particularly on the MHA interface.

The Hansard report can be found here.

[1] Note in this regard that the MHA Review’s proposed line for the interface (i.e. that for a person with impaired capacity who is not objecting to admission and/or treatment for mental disorder only the LPS can be used, rather than the MHA) “will only work if the Government’s proposals in the Bill, that an MCA deprivation of liberty can be authorised on the basis of risk of harm to others, are enacted. Otherwise, it would not be possible to use the MCA in the inpatient setting for someone who has impaired capacity, who needs treatment to prevent the risk of harm to others, but who is not objecting to being admitted and/or treated.”

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