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Experimenting With Drugs While Terminally Ill

Several states, and now the U.S. Senate, are pushing to expand treatment possibilities for certain patients.
Chris Hondros/Getty Images
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

With guest host John Donvan.

When a patient has run out of options, should new options be put on the table?

The U.S. Senate said Yes to that question this month by approving so-called right-to-try legislation, which lets patients request drugs and treatments that are still in clinical trials and haven’t yet been approved for the market.

More than half of U.S. states have passed similar legislation, despite some concerns that patients could be exploited by the companies behind the previously unavailable treatments.

Is this a risk for patients seeking any sign of hope, or another step toward letting Americans control how they handle their lives … and deaths?


Starlee Coleman, Vice President of Communications for the Goldwater Institute

Sarah Karlin-Smith, Healthcare reporter, Politico

Ameet Sarpatwari, Assistant Director of the Program on Regulation Therapeutics and the Law at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

David Farber, Partner in the FDA and Life Sciences Practice at the law firm of King and Spalding

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