The Saatchi bill, or “Quack’s charter”, puts “innovation” over patient safety

In an update to this piece: A quacktastic piece of legislation in England and Wales (UPDATE: Revision), the debate about the Saatchi bill heated up last Friday in the U.K. The legislation to allow a “get out of jail free” pass to cancer quacks gained support from some reputable doctors. Others vehemently oppose this as misconceived and wrongheaded.

Leading doctors join with cancer patients to back Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill – Telegraph.

A new law to allow patients to try untested medicines will protect them and nurture medical innovation, a coalition of some of the UK’s most senior health experts say.

More than 40 medical professionals, including Prof Michael Rawlins – President of the Royal Society of Medicine and formerly a head of National Institute for Clinical Excellent, back the Medical Innovation Bill in a letter to The Telegraph.

The Bill, which will be debated by peers, will make it easier for doctors to try out new treatments on patients without the fear of being sued.

Patients will also be able to look up new medicines tried out on other ill people on a new database run by Oxford University and ask their doctors for the same treatments.

Sounds good, right? Patient advocates are adamant that it is NOT good.

“The Bill is a huge threat to patient safety. It is aimed at solving a problem that doesn’t exist. We applaud and encourage medical innovation, but giving untested drugs to critically ill people is not the way forward.”

Indeed. It gives a free rein to a ton of quacks. It will not result in development of a reputable treatment ANY faster than the standard RCT route.

A new amendment to the bill requests doctors receive agreement by other specialists in other hospitals before trying the treatment. Perhaps medical professionals can chime in, or our commenters can provide additional info to tell me how exactly THAT provision would work. Doctors are busy. I can not see how they will take time out to study someone else’s speculative treatment. It does not make sense and it seems to be just a ploy to get this to move through.

I’ve been following #saatchiBill on Twitter and the commentary of some skeptical bloggers. It seems profoundly dangerous, promoted by someone who has an emotional bias but a misunderstanding of cancer treatment.

Ministry of Truth » Blog Archive » What Saatchi Doesn’t Tell You.

See this post (beware, harsh language) that describes how Lord Saatchi insults every legimate cancer doctor with this bill, more or less telling them that they are failures and want people dead. That rhetoric alone would be sound reasoning to object to the bill.

Lord Saatchi Compares Doctors to Medieval, Barbaric Hanging Judges | The Quackometer Blog.

Should non-experts with shallow knowledge and a pie-in-the-sky idea about medical research be dictating its future? No. Then why are all these experts on board? Money? Protection from malpractice claims? It’s called the Quack’s Charter for good reason. And, it sounds like really bad legal precedence. It’s disturbing that the criticisms are not being taken seriously.

Stop The Saatchi Bill – The Medical Innovation Bill.

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  2 comments for “The Saatchi bill, or “Quack’s charter”, puts “innovation” over patient safety

  1. June 30, 2014 at 3:36 AM

    Harsh language? HARSH LANGUAGE? It contains profanity of the foulest kind, I am pleased to say. It’s also very strange to find myself battling alongside the Catholic church, but the Diocese of Shrewsbury is with us on this and has yet to clutch a single rosary over the odd expletive.

    More importantly, it is to be hoped that sufficient people in the Commons see sense and this ill-thought-out rubbish doesn’t get rushed onto the statute books before next year’s election, which appears to be the current goal.

  2. June 30, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    I had not spotted the connection with Chris “woo woo” Woollams, so thanks for pointing out Andy’s post. This is a litmus test almost as reliable as Scopie’s Law and indicates that the bill’s support for quacks is no accident.

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