President Trump on Wednesday signed into law the “Right to Try” Bill, which grants terminally-ill patients the option to try non-FDA approved treatment options in hopes of recovery.
But the move, of course, isn’t without pushback. Critics of the bill say the measure undermines the authority of the Food and Drug Administration to approve medication, paving the way for people to be conned by fake treatment options and giving false hope to dying patients who are not guaranteed results.
But this angle ignores several very pertinent facts.
Firstly, government overreach into healthcare and research hasn’t ended well for patients in the past. During the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, government restrictions resulted in the loss of over 50,000 people between 1981 and 1987 – lives that may not have been lost if it weren’t for snail-paced bureaucracy.
But under the “Right to Try” bill, individuals can make their own choice regarding their healthcare rather than waiting for the government to make it for them.
The pushback on the “Right to Try” bill is also surprising given its bipartisanship in Congress. In both the House and the Senate, the bill consistently garnered support from both sides of the political aisle. State versions of the bill have been passed by 38 state legislatures. The measure’s also enjoyed widespread public support at both the state and federal level.
What critics of this bill fail to recognize is this: ultimately, it all comes down to personal choice – something liberals have long held as a mantra. Granting patients legal autonomy over their own treatment options gives them the power of choice in whether or not they want to take the risk. The bill also gives patients another chance at life, allowing them to decide whether an experimental treatment is something they’re willing to try.
And the argument of “false hope” is null and void when the only other option is “no hope.”