Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters The “Saatchi bill”

The “Saatchi bill” will cause serious problems for the medical profession

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 14 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3137
  1. Darren Conway, lawyer1
  1. 1Flint Bishop LLP, Derby DE1 3HQ, UK
  1. darren.conway{at}

The team behind Saatchi’s campaign have provided no empirical evidence to support their contention that the fear of clinical negligence stifles innovative treatment.1 The bill as drafted provides an almost blanket protection to a clinician to try out a treatment or management on a patient, while providing no counterbalancing protection to the patient.

The proposed bill also provides no protection for vulnerable patients (such as children and those without mental capacity) who are potentially open to manipulation by a maverick clinician. Saatchi emphasises the position of a terminally ill patient, but the law must take into account all patients.

There is no need for this bill as drafted. If enacted, the bill will cause serious problems for the medical profession. It should be rejected.


Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3137


  • Competing interests: I am a solicitor who specialises in claims for clinical negligence.