Why I support the Mental Capacity Bill

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 24 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:486
  1. Sylvia Glass, general practitioner (
  1. Poynton, Cheshire

    Now that the government has sent the Mental Capacity Bill—aimed at clarifying the legal position of living wills—to the House of Lords I reflect on my own experiences. My mother has recently celebrated her 88th birthday. There were presents, there was a cake with candles, and we gave a rendition of “Happy Birthday,” but instead of joy her faced was etched with confusion verging on fear. Everyone around her had an air of professional concern or of great sadness, for Mum has Alzheimer's disease.

    The past eight years have seen her stripped of all the vestiges of her life as her memory faded. Born during the first world war, she had …

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