HC Deb 20 February 1976 vol 905 c1665
Mrs. Joyce Butler

I have great pleasure in presenting to the House a petition from the Patients' Protection Law Committee, which is concerned about psychosurgery experiments on patients who are mentally ill and which seeks to uphold the rights of patients in relation thereto.

Despite the specialised and unusual subject of the petition, this small voluntary organisation has succeeded in a short time in obtaining 1,500 signatures to the petition, which shows that the Royal College of Psychiatrists intend to carry out experiments in psychosurgery on two hundred mental patients; that psychosurgery is a dangerous procedure which causes irreversible damage to the brain; that last year a court decision in Michigan, USA, held that the therapeutic effectiveness of limbic brain lesions was unproven and the potential risks very great and that lack of knowledge about these questions made informed consent virtually impossible; and that in these circumstances experiments of this nature are unethical. Wherefore your Petitioners humbly pray that this Honourable House will forbid the use of public funds for these experiments. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.

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