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Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hayman: When consulting interested parties on matters relating to medicines, the Medicines Control Agency considers which organisations are most likely to be affected by the particular proposals under consultation. The independent review panel will not consider advertising for health foods or unlicensed herbal and vitamin products. I refer the noble Lord to the reply I gave Baroness Wharton on 26 April 1999 at col. WA 14. Officials at the Department of Health have now sent a copy of the consultation letter to the organisation the noble Lord mentions.

19 May 1999 : Column WA44

Terminally Ill Patients: Treatment

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that the law needs clarification, or that further guidance should be provided to doctors and nurses about the treatment of terminally ill patients, in the light of the trial of Dr. Moor.[HL2471]

Baroness Hayman: Medical treatment given to a patient with the primary purpose of inducing death is illegal. Anyone alleged to have undertaken such action would be open to a charge of murder or manslaughter. The Government have no plans to change the law in this respect.

The Government recognise the importance of good pain and symptom control for patients with life threatening illnesses and maximising the quality of life for patients. In support of this, in June 1998 the Department of Health issued three documents published by the National Council for Hospice and Specialist Palliative Care Services (under Health Service Circular 1998/115) which provide guidance on key issues facing those who are dying and those caring for them in the National Health Service. These were:

    Guidelines for Managing Cancer Pain in Adults

    Changing Gear--Guidelines for Managing the Last Days of Life in Adults

    Palliative Care in the Hospital Setting.

Copies of these documents have been placed in the Library.

Radio 1 and Radio 2

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why they think that BBC Radio 1 should be in public ownership; and [HL2088]

    What are the reasons that they would give for not privatising BBC Radio 2.[HL2089]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government are committed to the BBC's role as the UK's principal public service broadcaster, providing a wide range of television and radio services at both national and local level. We have no plans to privatise Radios 1 and 2 because, alongside the three other national, and 39 local, radio stations and the BBC's television channels, they are key elements of the BBC's core obligation to inform, educate and entertain. Radio 1 puts new music first and provides specialist music programmes and information campaigns geared to the interests and concerns of its audience. Radio 2 broadcasts specialist music, as well as new and classic comedy, arts and religious programmes. Both bring new talent to national audiences and provide news and current affairs. The distinctive range and presentation of BBC programming, with its linked associated services, could not be sustained if its public service ethos was lost.

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