HC Deb 27 May 2004 vol 421 c1785W
Dr. Iddon

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what protection there is in the draft Mental Incapacity Bill for a person who lacks mental capacity because they have been heavily sedated. [174216]

Mr. Lammy

The draft Mental Incapacity Bill will offer protection to any individual who lacks the capacity to make his or her own decisions. The Bill only permits actions taken or decisions made on behalf of someone who lacks capacity if they are made in their best interests. This process requires the person making the decision to consider whether it is likely that the person lacking capacity will at some time in the future have the capacity in relation to the matter and question, and therefore whether the decision may be postponed.

The use of sedation will only be permitted if the person reasonably believes its use is necessary to prevent harm to the person lacking capacity, and proportionate to the likelihood and seriousness of that harm.

The Government will also be responding shortly to the 40 recommendations of the Health Select Committee following their inquiry into elder abuse. These include recommended safeguards on the use of medication in care homes.