February 08, 2007

It's My Life

Bon Jovi. I can't say I liked them that much back in the day, but over the years they've grown on me. Cheesy & sappy at times they may be, but Jon Bon Jovi is a good writer within his idiom. & through the years they have been a decent rock band (no, not that kind of rock). Here's the vid.

The courts may soon decide how far you can go in defense of your life, but not in the sense you might think:

"On March 1, in a landmark case, the Food and Drug Administration will ask a US Court of Appeals to overturn the backing it gave in May 2006 to a lawsuit which calls for terminally-ill patients to have the constitutional right to be treated with unapproved drugs."

I previously posted about a kid who went to court to prevent forced treatment for cancer. The article I read about the kid mentioned some treatments that were proscribed by the FDA but seemed to have favorable results in his case. I hoped he wouldn't have to face legal action for using them & now this case may just prevent that sort of governmental abuse from happening.

The lawsuit in question:

"claims that current FDA policy violates the 'constitutional privacy and liberty rights' of 'mentally competent patients with no other treatment options' by prohibiting them from purchasing investigational drugs, 'even though their physicians recommend these drugs as their best hope of surviving or of prolonging their lives."

Of course the FDA is fighting this saying their new approach (which consists of expanded access to experimental treatments) is all that's needed & that should they lose then patients would risk great harm by trying drugs not tested thoroughly enough.

One of the DC circuit judge's disagreed with the FDA's premise in a most quotable way:

"Barring a terminally ill patient from the use of a potentially lifesaving treatment impinges on the right of self-preservation,' commented one of the judges, Judith Rogers."

As luck would have it prof. Volokh has been writing about the subject in general & the specific case. You can find several of his posts (as well as a link to his law review article) here.

Outside of being generally interesting & potential useful there's a very important reason to pay attention to this case: should the appeals court &/or the Supreme Court side with the patient groups on constitutional grounds then a new unenumerated right to self preservation will be recognized. It would be hard for the D.C. gun ban (for example) to stand. If a constitutional Right to access drugs & treatments in order to preserve one's own life is recognized then how could a ban on firearms possession not conflict with that? Course I may type too soon as the courts have often used less than stellar logic to come to the conclusions they desire, but if it's worded right it may be the holy grail of precedents that we need to eliminate at least some of the more onerous gun control laws. Of course even if it isn't used for that end it'd still be a win for us as allowing folks to have more choices when it comes to treatments is a good thing. But a fellow can hope can't he?

Posted by Publicola at February 8, 2007 05:05 AM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?