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Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill ‘must be changed’, concludes Human Rights Committee

Definition of ‘deprivation of liberty’ needs to be clarified

The Government's Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill requires further changes to protect the human rights of vulnerable people. The Joint Select Committee on Human Rights reached this conclusion following an investigation of the proposed legislation.

The Committee considers that in order to achieve such protection, the government must clarify the definition of 'Deprivation of Liberty' and avoid potential conflicts of interest for care home managers.

The Committee has identified several problems with the Bill, which would be solved by amendments proposed in its report. These include:

Committee Chair Harriet Harman MP said:

"The human rights of vulnerable people who lack mental capacity must be protected with a more robust system of safeguards.

"We must give cared-for people, their families and professionals greater certainty by providing a clear definition: the Bill must be changed if it is to do that."

The Bill is due to have its report stage in the House of Lords on a date to be announced. To follow progress of the Bill, click here.