Right to Try

Jerry Brown, Humanitarian, Vetoes "Right to Try" Legislation That Might Help Terminally Ill

In a new legislative low, Gov. Moonbeam nixes reform that would help dying patients live longer, more comfortably.



Our story thus far: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is famous for its plodding, slow-moving, and life-destroying bureaucracy.

More than a dozen states have passed "right to try" legislation, which allows terminally ill patients access to drugs that have passed some but not all levels of FDA approval. The idea is that such people literally have nothing left to lose and much to gain. And their gain may well be society's too.

California's legislature recently passed right to try. When it got to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, he vetoed it:

In a veto message, Brown said "patients with life threatening conditions should be able to try experimental drugs" but that proposed changes to federal policies will streamline access to such drugs.

"Before authorizing an alternative state pathway," he wrote, "we should give this federal expedited process a chance to work."

Read the whole story here.

As conservative bioethics writer Wesley J. Smith notes at National Review, "This makes no sense."

Would that Brown could have sat down to talk with David Huntley, who died earlier this year from Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). In this recent Reason video, Huntley, with the help of a vocoder since the disease had robbed him of the ability to talk normally, makes a heart-breaking and perfectly rational argument in favor of right-to-try legislation. Brown's sleep should be haunted by Huntley's plea.

For more on Huntley and right to try, go here.

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  1. “we should give this federal expedited process a chance to work.”
    What’s the hurry? It’s not like anyone is dying.

    1. So believes governor fuckwit apparently.

    2. federal expedited process

      An oxymoron if there ever was one.

  2. This is such an infuriating form of nannyism. Not only are you robbing people of their agency, you’re literally sentencing them to death without hope.

  3. fuck jerry brown

    1. Seconded… make that angrily seconded.

  4. I guess in California you only have the right to die, quickly or very quickly

    1. Unless you want to die. California does not allow doctor-assisted suicide.

      1. You might want to catch up on the news.

        1. It isn’t legal yet. It is on the ballot for 2016.

          1. I stand corrected. Apparently Brown did sign something allowing it in limited cases.

  5. With progressives, bureaucracy is the point.

    1. Yep. See Jerry Pournelle’s “Iron Law of Bureaucracy”.

  6. So Brown will sign a law that lets doctors prescribe lethal drugs to people with no hope but will not allow doctors to prescribe unapproved drugs that might save them.

    This is what passes for compassion on the Left.

    1. Those sickies are such a nuisance, better to just be rid of them

    2. Allowing the former to die reduces medical costs. Helping them live increases them.

    3. This is what passes for compassion on the Left.


      Letting a terminal person off himself or herself does not threaten the bureaucracy in the way that bypassing the FDA does.

    4. Yeah, but that whole death panels thing was totally made up by some snowbilly bimbo.

  7. Looks like the libertarian moment is over, again.

    1. Stillbirth

  8. As conservative bioethics writer Wesley J. Smith notes at National Review, “This makes no sense.”

    Well, it doesn’t if you’re assuming the decision is motivated by bioethics. If you assume it was motivated by running cover for the administration, on the other hand….

  9. I know California is supposed to break off of North America and drift away at some point, but is there any way to speed the process up?

    1. Seems like Lex Luthor had a plan for this…

      1. So did Max Zorin.

  10. Moonbeam’s got a closet full of hair shirts and thinks you should wear one, too.

  11. Moonbeam stricks again.

    I wonder what constituency paid him off?

  12. Vetoing right-to-try is silly, but I doubt the legisl’n would make a difference in any actual case, just because of which transactions existing federal & state law cover & don’t cover.

  13. see, you have to die now. it’s for your own protection.


    the state.

  14. This makes no sense in several ways. One way is: what’s in it for Brown? Normally I would look for a political motive, e.g. doing the bidding of some left-wing contributor, but that doesn’t fit here. It just seems like signing this would be a no-brainer, because the vast majority would approve, and I can’t even think of a pressure group that would not.

    Any ideas?

    1. Big Pharma is a logical suspect, but I can’t figure out their angle for opposing right-to-try. My first guess would be that they would support it, as long as they had some immunity for when the drug didn’t work.

      1. The regulatory bureaucracy is the biggest suspect and law firms that negotiate around the rules. I Do not think they like any suggestion their jobs are or should be less relevant.

  15. Government increasingly views citizens as “idiots” that can not be trusted to make decisions on their own. “Big Brother” is alive and well there in Washington D.C. and all 50 state capitals.

  16. So if Jerry Brown was himself (or a family member) deathly ill and someone came to him saying they had a drug that might cure their disease, he would definitely grab it in a heartbeat.

    What’s good for the slaver isn’t good for the slaves. Even if he was stubborn enough to refuse such treatment, it wouldn’t give him the right to tell others what to do with their bodies.

    The FDA makes the costs of drugs, to include research, development, and implementation so expensive, that it crowds out others from participating without some serious money or investor capital. They speak of the lives they “could have saved”, meanwhile those that suffer, and those that died have no voice.

    Even folks who create natural medicines find their facilities raided and shuttered by the FDA. Big Pharma has much to gain from such actions, and the subsequent regulations written in their favor and against the competition.

    Competition through private means would be far more effective that the FDA. Just as the private UL exists, so too can private indipendent medicinal testing. The benefit here is they cannot tell folks what not to put in their bodies, but can help with fraudulent practices and violations of a contract between the maker of medicine and the individual trying the new drug.

  17. It may not apply in this case, I have not studied the text of the law, but one issue that has come up in the past is people using the right to try laws to sell bogus treatments to desperate people. If they could craft the law to protect patients from those scam artists, but still allow legitimate experimental treatments, more people would support the idea.

  18. The only “Right To Try” they have is assisted suicide.

  19. Terminally ill? Please. He solves REAL problems. He addressed the pain and suffering that has afflicted those poor souls whose daily lives are measurably affected by having to endure the use of the term “redskin” as high school mascots. Those folks can now resume normal, productive lives because of his actions on this issue.

  20. Signs Right to Die + Vetoes Right To Try = Fuck Off and Die.

  21. “Brown’s sleep should be haunted by Huntley’s plea.”

    Haunted! Ha!

    More likely it makes him splooge in his sleep. And awake. There’s no sweeter elixir than the tears of the peasants begging you to spare their lives as you refuse.

    These people live to exercise power over others. To control and *crush*.

    They continue to win because those who oppose them grant them *moral sanction*. Knock it off.

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