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New Court rules you do not have right to own body
[link|http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/08/health/08cancer.html?ex=1344225600&en=c7d3700569843106&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss|NY Times]
A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that patients with terminal illnesses do not have a constitutional right to use medicines that have not yet won regulatory approval.

The 8-to-2 decision by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit came in a closely watched and emotional case that pitted desperate patients willing to try unproven, even risky, therapies against those arguing that drugs should be proved safe and effective before they are made available.

Complex issue, but I tend to side with the patients here. There needs to be safeguards to keep scammers from exploiting these people, and some way of deciding who qualifies as terminal or not. But those that are terminal and can pay with their own money should be able to experiment on their own bodies.

New I think the court was correct on this one.
I haven't read the ruling, but I'm reminded of [link|http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/laetrile.html|Laetrile] and other scam cancer treatments. There are costs letting the system use products that aren't proven safe and effective, just as there are costs in teaching "both sides" of the evolution/creationism "debate". Patients should only be treated by safe and effective techniques unless they're part of a well-designed experimental study.

If people want to leave the country to try other treatments that don't have FDA approval, they're free to do so.

Yes, sometimes people will die who don't have access to treatments that might eventually be approved. But sometimes people will live who would have [link|http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/05/AR2007080501636.html?hpid=sec-health|died under the proposed experimental treatment]. There are risks in opening up new treatments too quickly.

     Court rules you do not have right to own body - (JayMehaffey) - (1)
         I think the court was correct on this one. - (Another Scott)

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