Human rights in danger, Alliance and MPs tell government

11 November 2003

The Mental Health Alliance today (11 November) urges the government to act on the findings of the Joint Committee on Human Rights report on the draft Mental Health Bill.

The report, published today, which has thirteen concerns, states that the draft Bill would allow health professionals to "act as guardians of morality as well as health."

Alliance chair Paul Farmer says:

"The Alliance has warned all along that the Bill will not comply with the Human Rights Act. We welcome the committee’s findings and share their concerns that the draft Mental Health Bill could be a threat to human rights, especially the widening of treatment criteria for mental illness.

"We urge the government to listen to the Committee’s findings and the Alliance’s concerns, and produce mental health legislation fit for the 21st century."

The report comes just days before the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday 13 November, which is expected to mention the draft Mental Health Bill.

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NOTES TO EDITORS