We often hear about the “right to health care” and other political talking points, but we rarely hear about the right to choose your own medication. There is currently a “right to try” bill being proposed in the Iowa Senate that would allow terminally ill patients to choose their own medication regardless of FDA approval. Not only is this bill common sense, but it needs to be extended to all patients and not just those who are terminally ill.

It is nice to think that medical regulations keep us safe, but are they really keeping us safe? John Stossel discussed the FDA approval process that was killing people by keeping a beta blocker off the shelf through regulations:

Since the thalidomide success, the FDA has grown in size tenfold, and now to get a new drug approved, it takes 12 to 15 years. So some years ago, the FDA proudly announced at a press conference, it was approving a new heart drug. This new beta-blocker will save 14,000 American lives a year. Nobody stood up to say, “Hey, that’s great, but didn’t that also mean you killed 14,000 people last year and the year before?” No reporter asked that because reporters don’t think that way, but it did mean that.

There is a fundamental right that the legislature must realize and that is that you as an individual own your own body. The State Board of Medicine does not. The state legislature does not. While there should be laws to protect people from those doctors and drug companies that would hurt people, the state should not tell you what medications you can take and tie to your doctor’s hands to prescribing a one size fits all approach to medication.

Here in Iowa, I have heard from patients with Lyme disease that suffer because no doctor wants to risk losing their medical license to treat the disease after patients say the initial treatment doesn’t work. Doctors who want to treat patients cannot do so without the real possibility of losing their medical license and patients are forced to travel out of state to seek treatment or go underground and find a cash only doctor and hope they don’t get caught. That is not health care, but bad government policy.

The “right to try” bill is a good first step and I thank the members of the legislature who brought it up, but always remember that you, not the state, should have the final decision over your health care.

Photo Credit:
© Minerva Studio / Dollar Photo Club

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1 Comment

  1. Jake, thank you for this article especially addressing IOWA’S BORRELIA/LYME DISEASE and the other 22+ diseases TICKS carry!

    My late husband, Jack Gordon, and I have a combined total of 82 yrs. of chronc Lyme disease! I’m 47 yrs.; misdiagnosed 35 yrs. by 40-50 drs. UNACCEPTABLE. Jack was never diagnosed or treated for 35 yrs. also!! He was bitten 10 yrs. later than me.


    Borrelia/Lyme disease and LEWY BODY dementia causing VIOLENT HALLUCINATIONS like the late actor/comedian, Robin Williams, had!

    Since he’s the 1st worldwide, we are writing a scientific medical journal article on this development. I WILL BE 1ST CO-AUTHOR, non-medical lay woman, over the 3 medical folks!!

    It’s in its final stages of being written up by Minn’s. Tom Grier, microbiologist, and including my, Paula Pierce, owner of a small lab, Excalibur, in Norman, Okla., and Dr. Alan MacDonald, Naples, Florida.

    Hopefully in March – May, it will be PUBLISHED in 1 or more medical journals, names unknown to me presently!

    Jack’s colored brain autopsy photo, like looking at a planet, can be found here showing the Borrelia/Lyme disease in red; ALL IN YELLOW IS LEWY BODY DEMENTIA:


    Paula and Alan each did blood staining of Jack’s brain discovering these results. They were the only 2 in USA to do this type of work until Tom Grier recently joined this endeaver.

    Alan established recently the PAUL DURAY RESEARCH FOUNDATION INC. that does brain autopsy blood staining for these diseases:


    More info can be found at their site:


    Iowa LOST 1 of their ILADS, Intl. Lyme and Associated Disease Society, LLMDS, lyme literate mds, last week, Dr. Mary Pat Rosman, 1 of the very FEW we have here in Iowa who had treated longer than 30 days of antibiotics, supplements, and/or alternative therapies!

    WHY should we have to leave IOWA to be diagnosed and treated for these ticks diseases? SHAME ON IOWA!!

    Iowa Health Dept. penalized her and PUNISHED US LYME/VECTOR-BORNE PATIENTS by NOT allowing her to diagnose, treat, or even tell the patient who/where they could go to be diagnosed or treated for Lyme and all diseases ticks carry!


    Iowa’s LEGISLATURE needs to address LYME disease/vector-borne bills in 2016 session. We NEED Drs. like Mary Pat Rosman who treat our diseases and DIAGNOSE us correctly.

    My local clinic FAILED BOTH my late husband and me for 35 years! I left them info today on having Tom Grier do LYME/MS training by skype on the basics of Lyme, Lyme/Ms, and LYME ON THE BRAIN, asking them to do 3-1 hr. ground round sessions to educate them since they failed us horribly!

    I’m taking a LEMON and making LYME-AID out of it so they can learn more and other families will not have to suffer as Jack and I did for 35 years.

    BettyG, Iowa Lyme activist+

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