RI House passes “right to try” bill

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island House has passed a bill to let terminally ill patients obtain experimental drugs that haven’t been federally approved.

The House passed the measure 70-to-1 Wednesday. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Democratic Rep. Joseph McNamara says he introduced the bill because he wants to give hope to those individuals.

The Warwick Democrat says terminally ill patients should have the “right to try” anything that might help them.

Lawyers and medical professionals have voiced concerns.

Five states— Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri and Michigan— recently enacted similar measures, and other states are considering it.

Rhode Island’s legislature is also considering whether to allow terminally ill people end their lives with prescription drugs.

That measure has been held for further study in committee.

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