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Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill returns from the Lords

2 April 2019


The Commons considered the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill on Tuesday 2 April 2019.

Lords message

The House of Commons disagreed with Lords Amendment No. 25A proposed to Commons Amendment No. 25 and proposed Amendments (a) and (b) to Commons Amendment No. 25 in lieu of the Lords Amendment.

The Bill has now returned to the Lords for further consideration. 

Previous stages

Second reading

MPs debated the second reading of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday 18 December 2018.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, opened the debate on behalf of the Government saying;

"We have a duty of care to the most vulnerable in our society, and everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, no matter what their physical or mental condition. I hope that the House will also agree that liberty is a fundamental right, and that no decision on the deprivation of liberty can ever be taken lightly [...] The present deprivation of liberty safeguards are meant to ensure that people who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves are not deprived of their liberty unfairly or unnecessarily, but the current system is broken and needs to change."

Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Social Care, Barbara Keeley, responded on behalf of the Opposition saying that,

"The reform of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 requires methodical planning, but the truth is that the Bill has been rushed through without proper scrutiny, despite the best efforts of many people who are concerned about its contents and have been working to change it for the better." 

Although opposed by the Opposition, the Bill passed its Second reading unamended and without division. 

Remaining stages

The debate on the remaining stages was opened by Chris Bryant. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Brine, responded on behalf of the Government. The Bill passed third reading, with Amendments.

What is the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill?

The Bill amends the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which provides a statutory framework for people who lack capacity to make decisions for themselves. The Bill is based on the recommendations of the Law Commission report Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty, which was published together with the Law Commission's draft Bill in March 2017. 

The Government's Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill would reform the process for authorising arrangements which enable people, who lack capacity to consent, to be deprived of their liberty for the purpose of
delivering their care or treatment. This Government Explanatory Notes states this will include people with severe dementia, learning disabilities, head injuries and autistic spectrum disorder.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill and find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

The Library has published a briefing paper for Second Reading.

Image: Creative Commons

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