Md. lawmaker pushing for 'Right to Try' Act for terminally ill patients

- Imagine being diagnosed with a terminal illness and learning about an experimental treatment not yet fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration that might help you. Then you learn that you are not legally permitted to try it.

Lawmakers in Maryland are trying to change that with the Right to Try Act.

“It gives them hope where there is no hope,” said Maryland State Sen. Bryan Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel).

He introduced the bill in this legislative session. He said it is important to give those who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness the right to access any possible treatment available.

“If you have a child who has a disease that is incurable as of current medicine, this would allow you to work with your doctor, and then come up with an informed consent saying here is what the drug could do in the best case, here is what it could do in the worst case,” said Simonaire. “And then it gives the decision to the family saying, ‘Are you willing to take this risk?’”

If you visit RightToTry.org, you will see patient stories of people who believe they would benefit from Right to Try legislation of all ages, from small children to adults. Diego Morris, a 14-year-old, shared his story of a rare bone cancer diagnosis at just 11 years old.

“My family and I had to move to a whole other country,” Morris said. “We moved to London, England, because we couldn’t get the treatment we needed in the U.S. My story helped pass Right to Try in Arizona. Please send your stories so we can help get Right to Try passed throughout the nation.”

Keep in mind that doctors have to tell patients about all possible outcomes of using the drug, and they will need to pay for it out of pocket.

A Right to Try law passed in Virginia last year. Right to Try is not an option in Washington D.C.

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