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senate Bill S. 204

Right to Try Act: Should Experimental Treatments be Available to Terminally Ill Patients?

Argument in favor

This bill would give families and individuals access to potentially lifesaving treatments that haven’t been approved by the FDA when they have no alternative. If the patient and physician understand the risks, they should have the right to try experimental treatments.

OlderNWiser's Opinion
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05/21/2018
As a nurse, i cared for people in unconscionable pain with lingering deaths, loss of hope, loss of dignity. Our bodies should be under our own control, not controlled by men who think they have a right to impose their religious beliefs or pretensions on us. We have the right to try unproven treatments because placebo effect is so powerful and we have the right to choose death without imposing agony on ourselves and our families as much as we have the right to the opposite.
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burrkitty's Opinion
···
05/22/2018
If the patients and families are fully advised of the risk, the odds of success, have exhausted all treatment options, and will not be fleeced by snake oil salesmen...yes. Bodily autonomy. It’s not just a pro-choice argument. My body, my choice. In life and in death.
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BeStrong's Opinion
···
05/22/2018
YES. Yes, for my Mom, who would have chosen to fight when traditional treatments failed. The Right to Try is a moment of hope where there is none. Yes to hope, dignity, compassionate care. *This is not a political issue, right/left. It’s about Informed choice.
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Argument opposed

This bill is too risky because the FDA and clinical trial process exists to prevent unsafe treatments from being used. Besides, insurers may not pay for it and drug companies may not allow the experimental treatment to be used. It gives patients false hope.

Christina's Opinion
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05/22/2018
There is a reason experimental drugs aren't offered to patients like this. The risks are unknown and could easily make a patient's last moments worse. It also provides false hope that an untested treatment may be some miracle cure while the odds of that are slim. Terminal patients are not lab rats and they should be offered comfort, not untested drugs.
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RadicalModerate's Opinion
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05/21/2018
Terminally ill patients should be allowed to take any drugs they want. Not just to prolong life but also to ease the transition to physical death.
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Daniel's Opinion
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05/22/2018
Though I am sympathetic to the terminally ill, the ramifications of moving untested treatment to any population are unknown and potentially dangerous.
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bill Progress


  • EnactedMay 30th, 2018
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed May 22nd, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 250 Yea / 169 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
  • The senate Passed August 3rd, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    IntroducedJanuary 24th, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!

Bill Activity

  • action
    Introduced in Senate
  • referral
    Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  • action
    Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions discharged by Unanimous Consent.
  • action
    Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent.
  • vote
    Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.
  • action
    Message on Senate action sent to the House.
  • action
    Received in the House.
  • referral
    Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • referral
    Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
  • action
    Rules Committee Resolution H. Res. 905 Reported to House. Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 5515, S. 204 and S. 2155. The resolution provides for one hour of general debate on H.R. 5515, S. 204 and S. 2155. The resolution provides for consideration of S. 2155 and S. 204 under a closed rule. Also, the resolution provides for consideration of H.R. 5515 under a structured rule and makes an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 115-70 considered as adopted.
  • action
    Considered under the provisions of rule H. Res. 905.
  • action
    Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 5515, S. 204 and S. 2155. The resolution provides for one hour of general debate on H.R. 5515, S. 204 and S. 2155. The resolution provides for consideration of S. 2155 and S. 204 under a closed rule. Also, the resolution provides for consideration of H.R. 5515 under a structured rule and makes an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 115-70 considered as adopted.
  • action
    DEBATE - The House proceeded with one hour of debate on S. 204.
  • action
    The previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule.
  • action
    Ms. Schakowsky moved to recommit with instructions to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • action
    DEBATE - The House proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the motion to recommit with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion seek to require the bill to be reported back to the House with an amendment to strike everything after section 1 and insert a completely new text.
  • action
    The previous question on the motion to recommit with instructions was ordered without objection.
  • action
    On motion to recommit with instructions Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 187 - 231 (Roll no. 213).
  • vote
    On passage Passed by recorded vote: 250 - 169 (Roll no. 214).
  • action
    Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
  • topresident
    Presented to President.
  • signed
    Signed by President.
  • enacted
    Became Public Law No: 115-176.

bill Progress


  • EnactedMay 30th, 2018
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed May 22nd, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 250 Yea / 169 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
  • The senate Passed August 3rd, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    IntroducedJanuary 24th, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    As a nurse, i cared for people in unconscionable pain with lingering deaths, loss of hope, loss of dignity. Our bodies should be under our own control, not controlled by men who think they have a right to impose their religious beliefs or pretensions on us. We have the right to try unproven treatments because placebo effect is so powerful and we have the right to choose death without imposing agony on ourselves and our families as much as we have the right to the opposite.
    Like (170)
    Follow
    Share
    There is a reason experimental drugs aren't offered to patients like this. The risks are unknown and could easily make a patient's last moments worse. It also provides false hope that an untested treatment may be some miracle cure while the odds of that are slim. Terminal patients are not lab rats and they should be offered comfort, not untested drugs.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    If the patients and families are fully advised of the risk, the odds of success, have exhausted all treatment options, and will not be fleeced by snake oil salesmen...yes. Bodily autonomy. It’s not just a pro-choice argument. My body, my choice. In life and in death.
    Like (71)
    Follow
    Share
    YES. Yes, for my Mom, who would have chosen to fight when traditional treatments failed. The Right to Try is a moment of hope where there is none. Yes to hope, dignity, compassionate care. *This is not a political issue, right/left. It’s about Informed choice.
    Like (58)
    Follow
    Share
    They’re dying! What do they have to lose? Of course under single payer they don’t believe that, they think you should “die with dignity” so they don’t have to waste anymore of the states resources on you. Yeah, that’s humane!
    Like (19)
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    It is the right of every person to seek or deny any care they wish. If the conventional treatments are not an option, they should have the right to try experimental treatments, in an effort to help their health and further scientific discovery of cures and treatments.
    Like (15)
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    If you have a terminal illness and are given all the information regarding possible side effects from experimental treatments, you should have the right to make that decision for yourself.
    Like (15)
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    Life, liberty and the pursuit of happyness.
    Like (15)
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    Please give terminal patients HOPE!! Hope, even in a placebo, is very powerful and can make patients feel like they are “doing everything possible” to have one more week or month with their loved ones.
    Like (12)
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    I believe this should be an option provided patients are given all of the facts and no unrealistic expectations
    Like (11)
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    YES! I also feel that a person has the right to end their life if they are entering into a terminal stage. Why should their suffering be prolonged?
    Like (9)
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    ALL medicine should be available with th the responsibility on the patient if it’s not well tested
    Like (9)
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    People can decide for themselves what drugs they want to try. Give them the ability to do so.
    Like (8)
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    My body my choice?
    Like (8)
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    Better a long shot than certain death.
    Like (7)
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    I have every right to try whatever treatment I choose, in spite of terminal illness. Our Federal government should have no say in that, whatsoever.
    Like (7)
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    Yes! If patents are terminal they have nothing to lose. And add to it allow terminal patients some dignity and allow doctors to prescribe them what ever they need to ease the end of life. Dying is hard why make it harder? Would you want to suffer at the end of your life? Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, not your donors! Your constituents!
    Like (7)
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    Anyone with a terminal illness should have the right to direct their own care. It should not be in the hands of the government.
    Like (6)
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    This is an individual's personal decision. It would also further scientific research.
    Like (6)
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    Our bodies are our own. We should have the right to seek whatever type of treatment we feel will help us.
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