Published On: Sun, Nov 16th, 2014

Bereaved Maurice Saatchi Proposes Bill To Make Experimental Treatments Available

Maurice Saatchi with his beloved wife,   the late novelist Josephine Hart GETTY


Lord Maurice Saatchi, founder one of the highest profile advertising companies in the world, has proposed a bill to prevent others from experiencing losses like his. After the death of his wife, the novelist Josephine Hart, to cancer, he is advocating the British Parliament pass a law that patients who do not have treatments available be allowed to take experimental drugs that have not passed their full trials, according to the Guardian.

He noted that it can take 15 years and a billion pound sterling to approve a drug that can save people’s lives. Why not allow patients to take a drug that has not yet received the full seal of approval, but might work?

This might sound both idealistic and reasonable, but 100 oncologists have signed a letter protesting against the proposed bill. The letter said, “It will not make any meaningful difference in to the progress in treating cancer.”

Maurice Saatchi and his brother Charles, Jewish immigrants from Iran, ran the advertising firm that had the Tory Party as a major client. When he lost his wife Josephine, Maurice was so bereaved that he would eat his breakfast by his wife’s tomb and describe himself as “beyond hope.” While his critics say it is his heart and not his head that inspired him to propose the bill, he responded, “I don’t think bereavement is a disqualification for rational thought.”

The bill he proposes makes the distinction between “responsible innovation” and “reckless experimentation.” He added, “Innovation is deviation. So non-deviation is non-innovation, and here you have the explanation why there is no cure for cancer. As simple as that.”

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