On my Fox Business program this week (Thursday 8pm & 11pm ET), we'll ask the question, "Who owns your body?"
People like the FDA. It makes them feel safe and protected. No one wants unscrupulous snake oil salesmen selling us poison. But in this week's show and syndicated column, I point out that there are risks both ways. When the FDA protects us, it also blocks drugs that might help people. It allows terminally ill patients to die rather than choose to take a chance on a promising experimental drug.
Why, in our "free" country, do Americans meekly stand aside and let the state limit our choices, even when we are dying?
Dr. Alan Chow invented a retinal implant that helps some blind people see (optobionics.com). Demonstrating that took seven years and cost $50 million dollars of FDA-approved tests. But now the FDA wants still more tests. That third stage will take another three years and cost $100 million.
But Chow doesn't have $100 million. He can't raise the money from investors because the implant only helps some blind people. Potential investors fear there are too few customers to justify their $100 million risk.
So Stephen Lonegan, who has a degenerative eye disease that might be helped by the implant, can't have it. Instead, he will go blind.
The bureaucrats say their restrictions are for his own safety. "There's nothing safe about going blind," he says. "I don't want to be made safe by the FDA. I want it to be up to me to go to Dr. Chow to make the decision myself."
But it's not up to Lonegan and his doctor. It's up to the autocrats of the Nanny State.
Full column here.
- Pre-October 2009