Patient freedom, ethics at the heart of ‘Right to Try’

SPRINGFIELD  (AP) — Medical professionals worry that an effort in Illinois to grant more access to unproven drugs for the terminally ill might offer false hope or even be harmful.

But advocates for expanding access say patients should have more freedom to obtain potentially life-extending treatments.

Legislation that has unanimously passed out of state House and Senate committees would create a Right to Try Act. It would allow patients — with a doctor’s consultation — to have access to drugs that have only passed early Food and Drug Administration testing.

Backers expect the legislation to come for a final vote soon, after lawmakers return to Springfield.

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute is behind the effort in Illinois and a dozen other states this year.