The Bishop of Southwark has urged the Government to take seriously the report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill, published on 23 March ( http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/jcdmhb.cfm).
“The Bill deals with important issues affecting the liberty and welfare of vulnerable people,” said the Rt Rev Tom Butler, Vice-Chair for Public Affairs on the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council. “We hope the Government will take full account of the Committee’s detailed analysis and far-reaching recommendations in seeking to strike a proper balance between patient rights and public safety.
“Because we believe in the God-given dignity and potential of every human being, we strongly support the Committee in stressing the primary purpose of mental health legislation should be to improve services and safeguards for patients and to reduce the stigma of mental disorder. The public must be protected from a very small number of mentally disordered people who pose a substantial risk of serious harm to others but this must not be allowed to override all other considerations.”
Responding to the report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill, the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council noted: