I have just returned from listening to Lord Maurice Saatchi discussing his Medical Innovation BIll which, he says, aims to create a clear path to lawful clinical innovation in cancer treatment. Lord Saatchi's Bill is his response to the loss of his wife Josephine Hart to ovarian cancer in 2011. He was dismayed by his wife's treatment options which he described as "the endless repetition of failed experiments - anything else was medical negligence" and he views current law as inhibiting medical progress.
Lord Saatchi stated that he does not seek to permit reckless experimentation, but promote bold scientific responsible innovation by making changes to the legal framework governing cancer treatments. His Bill would allow clinicians wanting to use more experimental treatments to seek authorisation from their Multi Disciplinary Team and then from a higher clinical authority. This process, which he describes as "a severe test" will then protect them from claims of medical negligence.
His Bill is getting its second reading in the Lords this week, it has several more stages to get through before it is debated in the Commons, so there is a long way to go. At the very least it will prompt a vigourous debate and make us all look at whether the current system, which he maintains stifles progress, really serves women's interests.