Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Should There Be a 28th Consitutional Amendment re Health Care Choices

  1. Jun 10, 2005 #1
    I pose the following Question for Forum Discussion referencing my thread entitled, "Marijuana Use Illegal for the Sick, Gasoline Still OK." Please also refer to my arguments and content discussion in that thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=78309

    The crux of my Question is, after the Federal government and U.S. Supreme Court shot down California's medical marijuana law, siding the reach of the Federal Controlled Substances Act: Is it yet time for Congress to re-think its position as the unilateral authority over the medical care available to Americans, and pass a Constitutional Amendment of Rights?

    How many of you would support a 28th Constitutional Amendment, entitled, "Freedom of Choice in Medical Treatment?"

    There comes a time when every piece of legislation will be tested by time, i.e. FDA, reach of the Controlled Substances Act, and whether these should be amended by further legislation, clarifying its role, INTENT, and legal boundary.

    Such an Amendment would NOT be about the right to smoke medical marijuana. It would be about the right to choose and have access to treatments, now, and in the years to come, that have not yet been adopted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other agencies of the federal and state governments. There are countless examples of harm that has been brought to Americans by FDA and restrictive federal and state policies. These challenges will only multiply, greatly, due to globalization - as the U.S. looses its position of dominance over health care products and treatments.

    By law, Americans should have access to any reasonable treatment, which would trump current U.S. law, and enable its citizens the right to choose which treatments, drugs, medical devices, and such they wish to use to sustain their life, wellfare, and well being, without having the WILL of the United States government and its affiliates imposed upon them, i.e. products and treatments NOT yet "legally approved" here in the U.S. This Amendment would be in support of life, or "Pro Life," much like the Bush Administration argued in favor of Terri Chiavo.

    Your Vote? Yea or Nea

    Offered by: Stephen Dolle
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    This by no means comes near requiring a Constitutional amendment and who says it should be a right to choose whatever drugs you want? God knows how many months after that until you see the first thousand dead because all of a sudden 50 people found a cure for Cancer and AIDS... or did they...
  4. Jun 10, 2005 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    You actually can use experimental treatments as part of the clinical trials they must go through, but of course you have to qualify for this. You are also free to seek treatment in countries where the experimental methods are allowed, but the cost will likely be rather daunting. I do think that, once it is determined that you are a terminal case, you should be free to use whatever you want. In fact, researchers use terminal patients in the first part of their clinical trials before testing on non-terminal patients.

    Another problem with the long, drawn out FDA approval process is that it's incredibly expensive. It can cost several hundred million dollars to bring a drug to market. Executives that sponsor research campaigns can lose their company $1 billion just by failing two or three times. This creates a huge incentive to falsify research. The great cost incurred by the pharmaceutical companies over the course of the approval process also has a lot to do with the incredibly high cost of prescription medications in the US. The long patent protections that keep costs high can also be traced to this, as it would be terribly unfair for a company to invest $300 million bringing a new drug to market, only to have a generic ripoff manufactured by a company that spent no money at all on research take a huge share of their profits. If that happened, why bother working in pharmaceutical research in the first place?
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2005
  5. Jun 11, 2005 #4
    Amendment to Denote Boundaries

    Who's decision is it anyway. Yours? The Fed's? Whatever happened to individual responsibilities? Give Americans and our resources on qualified information some credit. Do you expect that American physicians, just because of a new Constitutional Amendment, would depart from their standards of practice and beliefs? Do you have any idea how many instances of "off-label" uses are presently prescribed and carried out in the U.S. today?

    For every instance one can point to potential abuses and failures, there are at least now an equal, if not far greater, number occurring with the blessing of the U.S. government and the FDA. Just wait another 10 years when the masses of baby-boomers begin to require much more care, and Medicare and the states get hit with huge deficets. Reality check!

    A great portion of abuses today could be better addressed by the trial courts. Products liability litigation is in fact an adjunct to the regulatory oversight role of the respective state and federal agencies. Federal agencies, such as the FDA, openly acknowledge they rely on the trial courts to catch what they cannot prevent through oversight. It would be good for the health care industry to endow mfr's and practitioners with more authority over their respective businesses.
  6. Jun 11, 2005 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The USA is the land of the lawsuit. There is no such thing as personal responsibility - heck, if anything that's the amendment that needs to be passed. What you are suggesting would be a disaster.
  7. Jun 11, 2005 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    My vote would be Nay (or Nea).

    It would open the door for scam artists. The terminally ill and their families make easy victims. Wanting to believe there is hope often outweighs any logic a person might posess. You need an FDA to make sure the drugs on the market are legitimate.

    As for marijuana, I'm still a little dubious about its value. The fact that legitimate doctors would prescribe it isn't proof that it has medical value - it just proves that the doctor doesn't believe it will do any serious harm, given the circumstances - for years, doctors prescribed penecillin just to get agitated mothers out their hair. Of course, the flip side is that if the law wasn't harming patients, then maybe striking the law down didn't rate a very high priority. Considering doctors prescribe morphine for terminally cancer patients, I can't really see prescribing marijuana as an outrageous treatment.

    The only issue that should have raised any concern with federal authorities was that the state make sure only legitimate medical authorities were prescribing marijuana. There was some abuse of the law (exactly the type of 'medical authorities' the FDA is concerned about) and California needed to have a little better control over who could prescribe marijuana.
  8. Jun 13, 2005 #7
  9. Jun 13, 2005 #8


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Again, this by no means needs a Constitutional amendment and the person in that article seems to be immensly over-dramatic. He also seems to have shot his own foot by saying that foreign importers must have huge sums of money and then later says that importing drugs are currently illegal. He is also asking the FDA to do god knows how much more work then they currently do because they will have to answer to every crackpot who comes in with a miracle cure for cancer that has been verified by the Institute for Super Medicine in Beijing. Your going to have a ton of people coming in with their little cures and then your going to have to figure out who the hells a "reputable source" and whos not. Your going to have idiots that fall for H2O banning coming in talking about the latest drug they are demanding from wherever because they heard about it in a chain email. If anything, this will dramatically increase costs and lead to people dieing left and right. The US Government , and every government for that matter, was put in charge to protect its citizens. This does not include letting every crackpot get a license to sell prescriptions to the ignorant masses.
  10. Jun 14, 2005 #9
    Pengwuino: Thank you. I believe you've just summed up the works of the U.S. Tobacco Industry, which as you know today operates under the lucrative deal the collective states' Attorney Generals cut with the Industry. Hmmm. Money for government, or protection of public health. Money!

    It is interesting that in tobacco, its critical component is nicotene, which unofficially is a drug, and Congress and the FDA made attempts a few years ago to regulate it. Somehow, their challenge quietly went away. Despite if Congress/FDA intervened, my proposed 28th Constitutional Amendment would enable smokers to obtain the Right to Smoke if they could show it being used to treat an illness.

    If you have ever scientifically observed a smoker in keen form, one can observe addictive traits in their psychological make-up. In these regards, tobacco and nicotene are then treating (by satisfying) that addictive personality disorder, which commonly extends to alcohol consumption as well, another unofficially legal drug. Now moderate alcohol use has been shown in clinical study to reduce stress, and elevate IQ. I will acknowledge it has some positive healthful benefits, and know of many physicians who suggest an evening glass of wine or two. But they usually don't write this in the patient's medical record.

    The more you know .....
  11. Jun 14, 2005 #10
    The 28th Amendment: Right to Life Clause

    In writing on this proposed 28th Constitutional Amendment for nearly a week, I believe its most valid central argument is in it's "Right to Life" clause, protected under the Constitution.

    This term has been exhaustively used in arguments against the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision on abortion. But, earlier in 2005, Republican Conservatives took the initiative and broadened its political definition to encompass an individual's "Right to Life" in support of their Court challenges in the Teri Chiavo matter. Those challenges also assigned extraordinary relevance and discussion on "Quality of Life."

    Since the political definition of "Right to Life" has been broadened to include "Quality of Life," I believe that can be appropriately applied to arguments in favor of "Right to Life" choices in medical care.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook