Lee studied Human Biology and Biological Anthropology at King’s College, London and Keble College, Oxford, before going on to study medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School at Imperial College in London. He worked at various hospitals before qualifying as a GP.
In September 2011, Parliament debated Health and Social Care Bill amendments from Nadine Dorries and Frank Field which would prevent abortion service providers from also providing counselling. Abortion rights campaigners feared that groups with an anti-abortion agenda would step in to provide the counselling service previously provided by organisations such as BPAS and Marie Stopes. Dr Lee voted against the only amendment forced to a vote, however during the debate he stated:
- "I want to place it on the record that as somebody who wants a reduction in the time limit on abortions provided in this country; who wants independent counselling to be provided; who has seen many patients who have had mental health problems post-abortion, such as self-harming and depression over 10 years; and who has been present at a termination and watched an eye go past in a tube, with a cursory reference made to it by the consultant, unfortunately I am frustrated by the way in which the amendment has been tabled. The hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant) made the point that abortion as an issue should be talked about in the round. As a consequence, I cannot support the amendment, but that does not mean that I do not support the principles and the desire to make abortion as infrequent in our society as possible."
In February 2015 Phillip Lee voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.
In a public debate on scientists in Parliament, Dr Lee was reported to have noted that there were members of his own party who dismissed climate change, but he had not met any who dismissed it while also understanding the science behind it.
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