Debating Abigail Alliance:

As part of the Federalist Society's "Originally Speaking" on-line debate series, I participated in a debate on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit's decision in Abigail Alliance v. Eschenbach. A divided three judge panel initially held that terminally ill patients have a fundamental right under the Due Process Clause to access potentially life-saving medicines that are only part-way through the FDA approval process. Sitting en banc, the D.C. Circuit reversed the panel's decision 8-2.

Although I am highly sympathetic to the Abigail Alliance's policy arguments, I do not accept their legal arguments. Joining me in the debate was Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Taking the other side were Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute and Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice. The full debate is available here.

For prior VC posts on Abigail Alliance, see here.