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A Washington Post Epiphany

The Washington Post has had an epiphany. It discovered judges attempt to legislate from the bench! Today’s editorial entitled A Court Makes Up a Right expresses great distress over the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decision to allow terminally ill adult patients access to new drugs, upon a doctor’s advice, even when the drug has not been approved by the FDA.

"The U.S. COURT of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit discovered a new constitutional right yesterday: "the right of a mentally competent, terminally ill adult patient to access potentially life-saving post-Phase I investigational new drugs, upon a doctor's advice, even where that medication carries risks for the patient" and has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. If you don't remember reading those particular words in the founding charter, don't kick yourself. An ideologically eclectic panel of the normally sober D.C. Circuit pulled this "right" out of thin air."

Actually, I do agree with the analysis of the editor. I think this decision has the potential to undermine the entire FDA drug approval process and puts the safety of consumers at risk. What I find ironic is the editor’s righteous indignation that the judicial branch would concoct a judgment that in effect created new law. There are a great number of constitutional “rights” the courts have pulled “right out of thin air”. The most notorious is a woman’s “constitutional right” to kill the child growing within her womb at any time during her pregnancy and for any reason. I haven’t heard much from the WaPo editor criticizing that judicial opinion. In fact, the WaPo is usually at the forefront defending it. Oh, and there is that constitutional requirement for separation of Church and State. (Please note the phrase separation of Church and State does not exist anywhere in the constitution) The WaPo is a staunch defender of judicial opinions that allege the constitution demands there be no official government acknowledgement that religion exists, especially if that religion is Christian. Thus we have Holiday Trees and Spring Bunnies.

Mr. Editor: You make a fine argument for the health hazards of this court decision. However, you lose all credibility when you claim the very basis of the court’s mistake was its discovery of new “rights” in the constitution. Are you really saying you hadn’t noticed this kind of judicial behavior until now? Where have you been?


Tony said…
I think this decision has the potential to undermine the entire FDA drug approval process and puts the safety of consumers at risk.

You mean the FDA drug approval process that approved Vioxx, Thimerisol and other associated drugs that ended up having deadly and/or life altering (for the worse) effects?

I think that a consumer in their right mind, armed with factual information, should be able to consume anything that he or she believes will help him or her.
Catholic Mom said…
The FDA is an imperfect system. It also gave us RU-486. It is still better than no system of regulation. Without it we are beholden to the drug companies to provide accurate information directly to consumers. That is definitely a fox guarding the hen house scenario. However, the real point of the post is the WaPo's amazement that the judiciary could have the audacity to legislate from the bench.
Tony said…
Oh, I know. :)

I just wanted to focus on the underlying issue, and suggest that FDA approval isn't really great shakes, especially when the FDA is controlled by politicians who take campaign contributions from... uhhh... drug companies ;)

We need to start focusing on wellness, and get away from prescribing drugs to handle symptoms caused by our own lifestyles.
Catholic Mom said…
As a retired physician, I will second that motion for less meds! This probably should be a post of its own and not a comment, but did you realize as Americans we spend more money on psychiatric medications for our children than we do on asthma or diabetic medications for our children.Fastest growing population on psychiatric meds is children under age 4. I know there are some children with true ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) who are really helped by meds. However, there is a large group of kids who really have ADD (Adult Discipline Disorder) and just need parenting instead of pills. I always wished I could write a prescription for that!
Tony said…
Don't get me started!

I have always said it's easier to prescribe Prozac for one teacher than Ritalin for a classroom of little boys :)

I have written about "little boy behavior bad, little girl behavior good" that permeates our schools. They attempt to force our little boys to behave like little girls, and if they don't they beat them into submission chemically.

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