People who are not mentally ill risk being locked up because of the wording of the Government's new mental health proposals, a leading committee of MPs is warning.
A damning report published today by the joint Human Rights Committee also says the Mental Health Bill fails to protect the rights of extremely vulnerable patients and their families.
Members of the committee are demanding that ministers introduce extra safeguards to protect patients who are force-fed, kept in seclusion or given electro-convulsive therapy.
They say people should only be forced into treatment if it is of benefit to them. The committee is also concerned that people wanting sex change operations or those who have unusual sexual fetishes face discrimination under the reforms.
The Mental Health Bill is going through the House of Lords and has been savaged by peers from all the political parties. They have demanded a string of amendments which include the scrapping of a clause that would force MPs who suffer a mental breakdown to resign their seats. An anonymous survey carried out by the charity Together in 2005 found that as many as 60 MPs had suffered from mental health problems.