[JURIST] The Indiana Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved a proposal [HB 1065 materials] to give terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs that are not sold on the market. The bill would allow patients to access treatments before they receive federal approval [AP report], thus creating a three-phase process that takes roughly 10 to 15 years to complete. The Senate also adopted an amendment that mentions nurses among the medical professionals who would be excluded from liability. Indiana is one of a few dozen states currently debating so-called “right-to-try” legislation. A version of the bill has already been approved by the House, and the two versions must be reconciled before being sent to Governor Mike Pence.
The right to die [JURIST news archive] for terminally ill patients has also been a widely publicized topic in the US and abroad. Vermont, Montana, New Mexico and Washington are among the states that allow assisted suicide. In February California physicians and a cancer patient filed a lawsuit challenging [JURIST report] a state-ban on physician-assisted suicide for mentally competent terminally ill patients. In February the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the country’s ban [JURIST report] on medically assisted suicide.