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Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Case Involving Experimental Drugs

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that rejected efforts by special interest groups to expand the Constitution to add a right under which the government could be mandated to provide experimental drugs to terminally-ill patients.

In addition to rejecting the idea of creating a new Constitutional right, the lower federal court had based its decision in part on separation of powers principles, noting that Congress could and should be the government body to decide whether to increase access to experimental drugs.

For additional commentary/info just click on the link below.

To me there can be no question -- from the conservative standpoint -- the D.C. Circuit got that one correct. Last time I looked, the Bill of Rights said nothing whatsoever about being able to force the government to give you meds or to become a guinea pig. The appeals court judges put it this way:

[We] conclude that there is no fundamental right 'deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition' of access to experimental drugs for the terminally ill.

* * *
The full appeals court ruling can be accessed by clicking this link.

The appellate judges who ruled against the idea of expanding the Consitution and thus in favor of judicial restraint:

Griffith -- nominated by George W. Bush.
Sentelle -- Reagan
Henderson -- George H.W. Bush
Randolph -- George H.W. Bush
Brown -- George W. Bush
Kavanaugh -- George W. Bush
Tatel -- Clinton
Garland -- Clinton

* * *
Here's a link to an account by the Associated Press. For obvious reasons that media report was couched and organized far differently from the ways in which this post were written.


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Comments (3)

The way liberals view the C... (Below threshold)

The way liberals view the Constitution always reminds me of the Robert Frost line Bobby Kennedy was fond of quoting:

"Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?'"

If they don't see a "right" they like or want in the Constitution, they just dream, dream, dream . . .

While I'm sympathetic to th... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

While I'm sympathetic to the argument about experimental drugs, this is the correct legal result. It is the legislature's role to address this, not the courts. We need a lot more of this kind of thinking in the courts.

The Supreme Court ... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that rejected efforts by special interest groups to expand the Constitution to add a right under which the government could be mandated to provide experimental drugs to terminally-ill patients.

Didn't you read the facts of the case at the .pdf link you provided, or was your mischaracterization of the facts deliberate? The case was not about whether the government should be required to provide anyone with any type of drug. What the case was about was whether a terminally ill patient has the right to buy potentially life-saving drugs from a willing seller, or whether the government is permitted to ban that transaction, thus condemning the patient to a sure death. The constitutional issue at stake is whether someone who is dying can take a longshot at a chance to save his/her life, or does the government's need to honor its bureaucracy take precedence? This case hung its hat on a due-process argument, but I think Eugene Volokh's recent article advocating the existence of a right to medical self-defense has a better approach.

It is interesting to note that you are so determined to be on the side of our "protective" government, that you can't even bring yourself to fairly lay out the facts.

For obvious reasons that media report was couched and organized far differently from the ways in which this post were written.

I do give you credit providing the link to the AP's account. However, in this instance, the MSM did a better job of reporting the actual facts of the case (they got them right).




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