Court denies meds to terminally ill – Part II

 I looked at the court documents from the case to see what else the dissenting judges had to say (this is in reference to my previous post here, on the US appeals court denying terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs). Here is a good excerpt:

The court fails to come to grips with the Nation’s history and traditions, which reflect deep respect and protection for the right to preserve life, a corollary to the right to life enshrined in the Constitution.

And 1 page later: 

In the end, it is startling that the oft-limited rights to marry, to fornicate, to have children, to control the education and upbringing of children, to perform varied sexual acts in private, and to control one’s own body even if it results in one’s own death or the death of a fetus have all been deemed fundamental rights covered, although not always protected, by the Due Process Clause, but the right to save one’s life is left out in the cold despite its textual anchor in the right to life.  This alone is reason the court should pause about refusing to put the FDA to its proof when it denies terminal patients with no alternative therapy the only option they have left, regardless of whether that option may be a long-shot with high risks.  The court is on even weaker footing when it relies upon the risks entailed in medical procedures to wrest life-and-death decisions that once were vested in patients and their physicians.  The court commits a logical error of dramatic consequence by concluding that the investigational drugs are somehow not “necessary”…While the potential cures may not prove sufficient to save the life of a terminally ill patient, they are surely necessary if there is to be any possibility of preserving her life.

(emphasis mine)

If you’re interested, you can read the entire document, including the opinions of the majority judges, here.  The majority opinion is 36 pages long, and the dissenting opinion is 29, just to give you an idea of how much both sides had to say.  I’m not sure how long it will be before the case gets taken before the Supreme Court (if the Supreme Court decides to take the case).  I’ll definitely be following this story.


1 Comment

  1. October 10, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    […] Law, Personal Liberty, Unnecessary Regulation) In a follow-up to my previous discussion (part I, part II, part III), regarding the August 6th court decision which said that terminally ill patients do NOT […]

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