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HARRISBURG, Pa. — To hear Bob Godshall tell it, he has no business being alive.

Eleven years ago, at age 72, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of bone cancer. His doctors told him to get his affairs in order. He’d be gone within a year.


But when Godshall learned some myeloma patients bought time with bone marrow transplants, he asked his doctors if he could get one, too. “No way,” they said, citing his advanced age.

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  • Hello , my mother turns 91 the 28th of this month. She has kidney failure. Just one kidney barely functioning.
    She also has two bleeding veins in her intestine that keeps her with more blood loss. She lives through the Grace of our Father God. Not by our Dr’s. If there is anything that can help improve her kidney , please give us notice of it. God Bless
    Thank you , Kaye

  • My wife is Living Proof that RTT is needed . See ” Lorraine’s Story ” on the Goldwater RTT website. She , like Rep. Godshall, would have died yrs. ago while waiting for the Still Slow FDA approval process. Her drug Kadcyla , was denied early approval by the FDA in 2010 , leaving it hung up in the FDA process for an extra 3 years – 7 total . Even as it wiped out metastatic breast cancer in 38 % of the pt.’s treated . 15,000 Americans die of that type of bc each year – 15,000 x 3 yrs – 38 % – do the math . The laws are advancing because the Public knows that the system is too slow. The objections are weak . Scare – tactics – thalidomide, etc., trials will stop[ – all un – true. The durg s will have passed Phase I safety standards , will be 21st centurt derivatives of already proben drugs , showing clear efficacy like Lorraine’s and Rep. Godshall’s drugs. Trial will be filled first . Co.’s that are small and ” only ” paying their execs low 7 figures , will get some understanding , some…

  • Notice it’s always about a pharmaceutical. What about my “right to try” non pharmaceuticals? Where’s the incentive for that? There is no such thing. Don’t get me wrong, I believe there’s a place for drugs, but society isn’t big pharma’s concern. Profits profits profits

  • I find it curious that “right to live” does not bother Medicine ethically nearly as much as “right to die.” Not all of us want to fight death with our last breath and our last dime. Often such quests result in excruciating suffering, and the person dies anyway. Too bad we cannot marry both concepts into one law.

  • Sen. Simonaire puts a rosy spin on the fate of Maryland’s previous right-to-try bill. SB 63 (2016) was withdrawn after unfavorable reports from both House and Senate Finance Committees. The reports note, among other things, the harm that could befall Maryland’s small businesses should right-to-try be enacted.

    Here’s the fiscal report:

    Here’s the Maryland General Assembly summary of the action:

    Lisa Kearns
    NYU Division of Medical Ethics

    • That’s dated information. You should post links to this year’s activity, which would show that the bill has passed the Maryland House unanimously and is on the Senate floor today (3/24) after passing the Senate Finance Committee with a unanimous vote on Wednesday (3/22).

      None of these dire consequences have come to pass in any other state. The clinical trial process continues apace, small business are still opening, no one has lost hospice care, no one has been sued, no snake oil has been sold. All the things you warn about just simply aren’t happening. If the wheels fall off the bus, let’s talk about how to fix it. But until then, let’s give dying people a new path to potential treatments.

      Starlee Coleman
      Goldwater Institute

  • These laws have good intention, but open up huge exposure to quacks and completely useless treatments that do nothing but increase suffering and fill the pockets of quacks. The issue this article leaves out, right to try if you can afford it. In the eighties, people were begging for bone marrow transplants for breast cancer. Turned out to be completely ineffective, and ruined what life you had left. The FDA and trials move development forward, one important change would be publication of ALL trials failed and successful to keep science and $ focused on solutions.

    • The only treatments available under Right to Try laws are those that have successfully passed a Phase I trial and are under continued review. If a trial is stopped for any reason, the treatment would no longer be available. And if a treatment is ultimately not approved, it would not be available either.

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