During an appearance on FOX Business’s “Varney & Co,” former Olympic gold medalist and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton spoke out in favor of the “Right to Try” bill, which recently failed in the House.
“I think if a patient wants to try something to extend their lives … I think they have the right to do that,” he told host Stuart Varney in regard to terminally ill patients who may want the option to try experimental drugs not yet approved by the FDA. “For the government to take that away is really shortsighted and selfish.”
Hamilton’s comment comes just as the House failed to pass the “Right to Try” bill, which had the support of President Trump and would have allowed doctors to prescribe medication awaiting FDA approval to terminally ill patients on a trial basis. According to the Olympian, patients should be able to explore something that could potentially prolong their lives if they want to.
“I understand … every moment of your life is precious,” he said. “Every breath you take is worth something and to extend life, to be able to do everything you can to extend life I think is extremely important.”
Prior to its failure in the House, Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-Wisc.) version of the bill passed in the Senate over the summer. Despite the latest roadblock, advocates for “Right to Try” laws are still holding onto hope that such a measure could come to pass under President Trump, who has been a vocal supporter of the issue in the past.
“One thing that’s always disturbed me: They come up with a new drug for a patient who’s terminal, and the FDA says we can’t … approve the drug, because we don’t want to hurt the patient,” he said last year. “But the patient is not going to live more than four weeks, [anyway]. So, we’re going to be changing a lot of the rules.”