Although no parent can bear to think of their child being terminally ill, we know it does happen. When it happens, each of us wants the right to use any drug available to save our child.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided that a terminally ill patient does not have a constitutional right to experimental drugs, even if those drugs could potentially save that patient.
In a dissent written by Judge Judith W. Rogers, she said that courts have established the right “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…but the right to try to save one’s life is left out in the cold despite its textual anchor in the right to life.”
Parents of terminally ill children should have access to experimental drugs that have undergone preliminary safety testing but are not yet FDA-approved. Period.