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The Access to Experimental Drugs Case

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Message Lawrence Velvel

August 15, 2007

 Re:  The Access To Experimental Drugs Case.  


            Whether deliberately or fortuitously, shortly after posting a piece on the case denying terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs that might save their lives, I received an email on the subject, with an a attached article on the case.  I am setting forth below the relevant portions of the email and the article.  They poignantly illustrate how depraved the court’s decision is.*

 Excerpt From EmailAbigail Burroughs was only nineteen years old when she learned that she had head and neck cancer.  Eighteen months of painful chemotherapy and radiation did nothing to stop its growth.  Though there were drugs that could save her life, the Food and Drug Administration told Abigail she couldn’t have them.  Last week, the DC Circuit sided with the FDA, deciding that patients like Abigail didn’t have the right to save their own lives by accessing life-saving treatments. Excerpt From Article 

Abigail Burroughs was only nineteen years old when she learned that she had head and neck cancer.  Eighteen months of painful chemotherapy and radiation did nothing to stop its growth.  Her world-reknowned doctors told Abigail about two new drugs that could save her life.  Unfortunately for Abigail, these drugs were still in the final stages of their Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trials and only available to a limited number of patients.  Though both drugs were eventually approved, it didn't happen in time to save Abigail.  Out of government-approved treatment options, Abigail died at the age of twenty-one.


* This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel.  If you wish to comment on the post, on the general topic of the post, or on the comments of others, you can, if you wish, post your comment on my website, VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com.  All comments, of course, represent the views of their writers, not the views of Lawrence R. Velvel or of the Massachusetts School of Law.  If you wish your comment to remain private, you can email me at Velvel@mslaw.edu.   

VelvelOnNationalAffairs is now available as a podcast.  To subscribe please visit VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com, and click on the link on the top left corner of the page.   The podcasts can also be found on iTunes or at www.lrvelvel.libsyn.com. 


In addition, one hour long television book shows, shown on Comcast, on which Dean Velvel, interviews an author, one hour long television panel shows, also shown on Comcast, on which other MSL personnel interview experts about important subjects, conferences on historical and other important subjects held at MSL, presentations by authors who discuss their books at MSL, a radio program (What The Media Won’t Tell You) which is heard on the World Radio Network (which is on Sirrus and other outlets in the U.S.), and an MSL journal of important issues called The Long Term View, can all be accessed on the internet, including by video and audio.  For TV shows go to: www.mslaw.edu/about_tv.htm; for book talks go to:  www.notedauthors.com; for conferences go to:  www.mslawevents.com; for The Long Term View go to: www.mslaw.edu/about­_LTV.htm; and for the radio program go to: www.velvelonmedia.com.

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Lawrence R. Velvel is a cofounder and the Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law, and is the founder of the American College of History and Legal Studies.
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