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How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

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I cannot stand that I live in a country where the majority of people even tolerate these views , much less one where biggest media outlets and allegedly scientific publications promote this utter filth as the voice of science and reason. All the "Right to Try" legislation does is is give people a chance to live when they have no other chance, and only after the drugs have passed the phase of testing that allegedly proves safety. What kind of foaming-at-the mouth animal would oppose that? 

 

Physicians, ethicists urge Congress not to pass ‘right-to-try’ legislation

Science Feb 3, 2018 4:15 PM EST

WASHINGTON — Dozens of doctors, medical ethicists, and lawyers are warning Congress that legislation to allow Americans with life-threatening conditions access to unapproved, experimental drugs risks harming patients’ health.

The letter was drafted by Alison Bateman-House, associate professor of medical ethics at NYU Langone Health, along with some of her colleagues. It is addressed to the leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the committee currently considering a so-called “right-to-try” bill. The letter was circulated for online signatures on Thursday, and organizers said they planned to send the letter on Feb. 5.

In August the Senate passed a right-to-try bill sponsored by Sen. Ron Johnson, which is now sitting in a House committee. The bill would allow patients with life-threatening conditions access to drugs that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has expressed reservations about the bill, but President Trump seems to support it.

The 40-plus signatories of the draft letter, however, say they are strongly opposed.

“This legislation sells vulnerable patients and families false hope at the expense of weakening the FDA’s critical role in making sure that all Americans can have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of our medical products,” the draft letter read on Thursday afternoon.

The FDA already has a pathway for patients to be able to use experimental treatments outside of clinical trials, which is called “expanded access” or “compassionate use.” According to an FDA study, 99 percent of requests made from 2005 to 2014 for these experimental drugs were approved.

But a right-to-try bill would allow doctors and patients to skirt around the FDA, leaving them more vulnerable if something goes wrong.

“Patients with terminal conditions who access unapproved therapies outside of clinical trials may be at risk of hastened death or reduced quality of the life that they have left, and deserve protections similar to patients taking part in clinical trials,” the authors wrote.

Andrew Powaleny, a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical industry organization PhRMA, which hasn’t taken a firm stance on the legislation, said, “It is crucial that any right-to-try policy proposals protect patient safety and the integrity of the clinical trial process along with U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversight. PhRMA appreciated the opportunity last fall to work with Sen. Johnson on his proposal and is engaged in an ongoing dialogue with his office and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Walden.”

Trump doubles down
Meanwhile, in a speech to Republican lawmakers on Thursday, Trump reiterated his support for congressional action on the subject. He first spokepublicly in favor of right-to-try legislation in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

“I hope you folks can approve it, and I hope you agree with it,” Trump told Republican members of Congress at a Thursday retreat in Greenbrier, West Virginia.

Trump’s remarks implied that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb was on his side, saying that Gottlieb was “heading it up.”

However, Gottlieb has actually expressed concern about the current bill that the House is considering, testifying at an October hearing that it would undercut the agency’s authority to protect patients from unsafe drugs.

The FDA declined to comment Thursday.

Bateman-House testified at the October hearing alongside Gottlieb. She said that she has not been in touch with the committee since the hearing, and that she thought after the hearing the bill had “more or less died.”

But Vice President Pence has been vocal recently on the issue, proclaiming his support in January. He signed a similar bill in Indiana as governor in 2015. Thirty-eight states now have such laws.

“I think his heart’s probably in the right place,” Bateman-House said of Pence. “I just wish he would put all this time and energy [into legislation] that was actually going to help patients.”

This article is reproduced with permission from STAT. It was first published on Feb. 1, 2018. Find the original story here.

Edited by happiness

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Then I think you face a serious problem: existence is intolerable for you. I am not suggesting that you should kill yourself, I am suggesting that you should re-consider how intolerable America is for you. Remember that Atlas Shrugged is fiction, and there is no such place as Galt’s Gulch. Existence qua man implies existence somewhere: and there is nowhere better than here.

Suppose for instance that you find that Iran imposes no FDA-like restrictions on experimental drugs, and that Iranians do not generally advocate imposing such restrictions on people: would that they justify moving to Iran? I can give you a few thousand reasons why you should not. Or maybe move to Canada. One problem (of many) with moving to Canada is that their system of law does not have the free speech protections that we have, and you can be silenced there in a way that you can’t be silenced here. One of the downsides of free speech is that it means people can advocate statism. The way to combat statism is not to pack up and move to a more statist regime, it is to use that power of free speech to combat statist rhetoric. You can do that in two ways. One is to narrowly argue the science, but a better approach is to argue the moral principle – it’s not the business of the government! The federal bill itself is less than ideal, since it only recognizes a basic human right in case you have been diagnosed to be terminally ill and the treatment complies with whatever arbitrary restrictions the state imposes (Congress passed up the opportunity to use the Supremacy Clause to more fully guarantee individual rights).

 

 

 

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Is America really over-the-top evil? Think about the people you interact with on a daily basis. Would you classify the majority as evil? What line needs to be crossed for a person to be "evil"? Humans are complicated and are always changing. In a reality where most around you truly are evil, such as an ISIS camp, or in prison, I can see a realistic desire to stop dealing with it all, for good. No prospects, little to look forward to now or ever. Is that daily living in America?

NO, it isn't. America is essentially a free country, still, with all its regulations and government intrusions. I can still get on the internet and badmouth any branch of the government. The American judicial system still offers the best recourse against humans who don't respect my rights. The American people are still work harder than the rest of the world. American business es are still world-class innovators. America's freedom-focused intellectuals still outnumber the rest of the world.

Here's a phrase that comes in handy when pondering life: "What's the alternative?" In a world of mixed humans (which will always be the world, as David noted) where Atlas Shrugged exists only as an illustrative construct, you can choose to focus on evil and live a mad or sad life, or you can choose to focus on every positive thing you can find or create, and live the best possible life before you're dead. There's no point in focusing on negativity past identifying it as something to move beyond.

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Your moral indignation is understandable from a rational and moral perspective.

Your dilemma is that you have discovered morality and yet you live in a culture where evil and immorality abounds.

The egalitarians who see equality as such as the basis of morality do not care what happens to you or anyone as long as equality of result and the machine or system in place working toward that end is not disturbed.  They will trade your LIFE rather than face the possible "expense" of "weakening the FDA’s critical role" in making sure that all Americans "can have confidence" in the safety and effectiveness of our medical products.  They are willing to trade your life for ensuring the "strength" of some system and for the implied need for the "people" to have confidence in that system.  Is this a direct call for your sacrifice?  Absolutely.  Should you be enraged at those espousing this view?  Absolutely.

Should you try to live in a culture or society such as this?  If it is in your self-interest overall, of course.  The key is not to spend more of your time than is necessary to contemplate the evil if everything considered you are going to remain.  You've noted the evil, it is not in your self-interest but it is not an imminent threat to your immediate health or safety.  File it away, understand it, perhaps think about how one day you could deal with it if necessary, and put it out of your mind.

Your life is yours and no one else's to morally regulate.  If this means someday you need to leave the US to get the treatment, perhaps fly the US doctor to a country where you and the doctor could work on saving your life.. then certainly you need to look at how you could fund and arrange for that to happen, if and when that day comes. 

 

Understandably, you are mad others think they own your life... just remember to mentally tell them to F-off, but then you have to put it behind you and live, taking all the necessary actions to pursue your life.

 

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You've asked questions loaded with this same premise before, and it became apparent, from the answers you received, that most board members disagree that western countries like the US are evil. So why post a question that assumes the same premise again, while ignoring an (overwhelmingly held) opposing view you've been made aware of? How is that any more rational behavior than the one you describe?

Please try and consider the validity of this opposing position, rationally. Instead of this fatalistic emotional reaction, you should explore ways to deal with the problems caused by irrational government policies. With a sense of proportion and with serenity.

P.S. All the rational people I know can handle reading the news (perhaps not on the brutality of ISIS or North Korea, but news of internal, western policies) with that serenity I mentioned. Even these days, when a certain over the top populist politician doesn't make it easy.

If the news makes you angry, you should consider looking for part of the problem within yourself. You might not be able to solve the problems of American politics, but you definitely have the power to solve these other ones.

Edited by Nicky

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Why?

EDIT: I doubt it'll get -attention- so it'll die, but it's not the same as outright rejection or a new regulation.

Edited by Eiuol

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25 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Why?

Because the only way granting total medical freedom to critically ill people would make political sense was if the majority of American voters were 100% convinced that the government bares no responsibility in protecting anyone from demonstrably disastrous, irrational treatment options.

We're not talking one or two cases. We're talking in the hundreds, at least, who have no ability to differentiate between a medical doctor and a witch doctor.

How do you think the public will react, as these people start dying off while cutting off viable treatment and instead taking drugs that range from useless to extremely harmful? Will it be "oh well, you live and die by your choices", or will they start blaming the government for not doing anything to stop the exploitation of vulnerable, critically ill people?

There's a better chance of welfare getting abolished than this thing passing.

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I've been up to my ass in alligators for the last few weeks, which is why I haven't done more than read this forum.  But this one I have to respond to.

Whether a country is free or not does not depend on the particulars of its laws and institutions, but instead depends on the principles informing those things.  The Founders gave us a Constitution based on individual rights and limited government.  But the Supreme Court -- which decides the actual principles that run this country -- has repeatedly affirmed that the rights that our Founders intended us to have must give way to asserted government necessity -- asserted by the government, that is.  Moreover, in 1824, in Gibbons v. Ogden, that court decided that the principles that the Founders intended to inform and limit the powers granted to the government by the Constitution were to be ignored when interpreting the Constitution.  It has by its decisions removed both individual rights and limited government from the principles that animate our government.  The government we have and our lack of rights are not products of accident, nor are they incident to evil government officials, they are a consequence of those principles.

Similarly, whether a person is evil or not depends on the principles he espouses and lives by, not on whether he does or does not act like a monster.  The man who pushes FDA control of drugs is just as evil as the criminal who would break into your home and steal the drugs you need.  The man who pushes licensing of hairdressers is just as evil as the man who would burn down a hairdresser's shop.  The man who pushes government control of sex -- whether it be deciding who may marry whom or whether one may buy or sell sex -- is just as evil as one who would enact the biblical law requiring the stoning of homosexuals.  Do not confuse "pleasant" with "good".  And remember that the filth that runs our government got elected by people who know -- or who chose not to know -- what that filth stands for and wants to do.  Listen to your neighbors and what they say, hear their words, and ask yourself what principles underlie those words.  You will not hear misinformed or thoughtless would-be libertarians, never mind Objectivists, you will hear reality-rejecting, rights-ignorant, would-be thieves, kidnappers, and murderers, people who are so craven that they won't even do their own dirty work, but will instead hire it out to the cess-pool inhabitants of government.

So, yes,  I agree with the OP.

But it is equally true that there is no better place.  The best you can do is go somewhere like Europe where they don't pretend so hard that they're individualists.  You won't be any more free, but you won't see quite so much hypocrisy about it.

My own answer is to start a society elsewhere.  I've set up a web site, https://cityofenterprise.wordpress.com/, to get my project off the ground.  Please drop in if you'd like to contribute, or just to kibitz.

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4 hours ago, Invictus2017 said:

Whether a country is free or not does not depend on the particulars of its laws and institutions, but instead depends on the principles informing those things.  ...

Similarly, whether a person is evil or not depends on the principles he espouses and lives by, not on whether he does or does not act like a monster....

Isn't it true that if a country let one little bit of statism inform its principles, then it is statist in principle? Analogously for a person. 

It sounds like you're saying all existing countries are evil, and most people are evil too? 

But, more importantly, you seem to imply that there's no gradation of evil? Is that what you're saying? That gradations are either incoherent or useless?

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I suppose if anyone cares we could actually discuss what Objectivism has to say about "evil".

Rand, and Peikoff had a lot to say about the subject, evil itself, compromise, the status of so called mixtures (some good in bad people and some bad in good people), and if I recall correctly something was about being good meaning actually all of the time trying to be good. 

But such a "distraction" might take away from the "discussion".

  

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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15 hours ago, Nicky said:

It has no chance of passing.

Is there a reason it would be less likely to pass the House when it’s already passed the Senate? If it passes the House it’s as good as law.

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11 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Isn't it true that if a country let one little bit of statism inform its principles, then it is statist in principle? Analogously for a person. 

The question isn't whether there is some statism in a person or government, it is the degree of fundamentality of any statism they might have.

So, for example, if the people, acting on emotions, advocate government control of  drugs, and the government, bowing to the wishes of the people, legislates control of drugs, but the people and government are otherwise rights-respecting, they are not statist in principle.  One can hope that the contradiction involved will eventually out, and the people and government will correct their aberration.

But if a person or a government grounds their politics in statism, they are statist in principle.  That is the situation with the American people and their government.  Except for a few putative nutjobs like libertarians and Objectivists, no one in America wants liberty; they want the government to serve their private agendas and to Hell with whose freedom is trampled in the process.  And us nutjobs just don't count; we have no significant political power. It is impossible -- and foolish -- to think that this can end well; a society that acts inconsistently with its own necessities must necessarily disintegrate.  All we can expect is increasing tyranny, followed by a period of anarchy and revolution, once people have decided they've had enough of expropriation, fear, and death.  But even then, the odds that they'll choose liberty are miniscule (this is why I am not a revolutionary) -- most likely, it'll be "meet the new boss, same as the old boss".

12 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

It sounds like you're saying all existing countries are evil, and most people are evil too? 

As a homeless unperson, I have little choice but to hang around church people.  They provide me with food, shelter, and clothing; my very life depends on their charity.  Most of them are pleasant to deal with and wish nothing but the best -- their conception of the best -- for everyone around them.  They are, by most peoples' reckoning, good.  But, without exception, they advocate abandoning reason and one's mind in favor of blind faith in the Christian God, and abandonment of ethics in favor of supposed biblical pronouncements.  Essentially all of them advocate government intervention in morality or economics or both.  None would call themselves theocrats, but most of them want government policies and actions to be informed by their particular brand of irrationality.  Are they evil?  In their daily life, no.  But in the life of the polity, they are evil incarnate, for they would subjugate mind to authority or give aid and comfort to those who would.  To preserve civility and keep my blood pressure down, I focus on the short-term good they do, but I never lose my background awareness of the long-term evil they do.

And these are the consciously and conscientiously "good" among us.  Looking elsewhere, I see nothing better, except among us nutjobs.  Yes, most people  contribute in small ways and in large to our material well-being, whether hauling garbage or launching rockets.  But these very same people act for our eventual doom via government.  So, yes, I call them evil; the short-term, practical good they do is vastly outweighed by the catastrophe they will bring upon us.

But as for governments, I condemn them all, for not a one of them, even in principle, can refrain from even short-term evil.  Never mind the tyranny that all do or will impose.

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14 hours ago, happiness said:

Is there a reason it would be less likely to pass the House when it’s already passed the Senate?

Yes...now it's in the news...so lawmakers are going to actually pay attention to what's in it, before voting on it.

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On 2/7/2018 at 2:04 PM, Nicky said:

How do you think the public will react, as these people start dying off while cutting off viable treatment and instead taking drugs that range from useless to extremely harmful? Will it be "oh well, you live and die by your choices", or will they start blaming the government for not doing anything to stop the exploitation of vulnerable, critically ill people?

But it isn't total freedom, only an exception for a specific circumstance. All that needs to be done is persuade legislators that these people are willing and need to take a risk in order to live at all. I don't think this is hard to do, insofar as the FDA already allows some drugs to be offered to specific populations before approval. I don't get what you're saying though - why do you bring up drugs ranging from useless to harmful? What useless drugs? The whole point, for pro-capitalist people like us, is that critically ill people will be better off and demonstrably so if they judge their own medical needs. There will be improvements. If people start "dying off", that's reason to say capitalism fails for the pharmaceutical industry.

 

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On 2/6/2018 at 11:01 AM, JASKN said:

I can still get on the internet and badmouth any branch of the government.  

With the Govt spying, there are many reasons you can’t be assured it’s safe to do this. 

I’m not sure that America comparing favorably to other counties means much, as the rest of the world sets the bar pretty low. 

Status quo FDA policy is morally equivalent to the mass murder of sick people. Regardless of how it’s rationalized, cutting off a person’s access to a needed medicine is no different than slaughtering him by any other means. I don’t know what percentage of voters have any awareness of this issue, but the overwhelmingly negative response to the Right to Try bill I’ve observed shows that the majority of people who understand what the FDA does are clearly apologists for mass murder. That’s pretty evil. 

I’m not terminally ill, so this bill doesn’t affect me, but I’m in the same boat with a chronic disease which is highly treatable with an advanced therapy that the FDA will probably never let happen in US, so the issue is deeply personal to me. I’ve tried to deal with the issue constructively by presenting the pro-freedom side wherever I could, but found that pretty much every time I’ve either been downvoted into oblivion or treated to the most banal displays of irrationality one could ever hope to come across. The other side’s arguments always follow same pattern: they focus solely on the possibility of harm caused by unregulated medicines, cherry-pick the negative as evidence, treat the priestly bureaucrats as omniscient and incorruptible without any justification and against all evidence to the contrary, and use inane buzzwords like “snake oil” as substitutes for facts. I have argued with MDs who ardently support the FDA and never seen anyone muster anything more intelligent than “BUT BUT BUT THALIDOMIDE!!!” Trying go educate others on this is simply a gigantic waste of time. 

So what are my options?

  1. Try to find a more effective  way to communicate the issue even though the prospect of positive change anytime soon seems impossible.
  2. Avoid debate and try to block out current events. Focus on my life and generating enough funds for more offshore treatments. 
  3. Say the Hell with it all, it’s been fun.

Most of the time I’m in mode #2, but sometimes read an article like the one I posted, and my blood just boils over.

Edited by happiness

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Thank you for this post. Perhaps others tempted to rush in to chastise someone as unpatriotic or overly pessimistic before understanding where they are coming from will learn to think twice before passing judgment.

Your case is one with which I wholeheartedly sympathize.  I simply do not have the right to patronize you, pity you, or presume to advise you and I will not because I am not in your unfortunate and serious position and although I can try to imagine it I cannot fully understand your experiences. 

I can promise you I won't belittle your experience or insult the reality you face by treating this as some philosophy undergrad snide fest. 

Your life and your health are yours.  No one has any moral right to deprive you of your freedom to pursue either of them as punishment for merely being alive in the wrong society.

I hear you.

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7 hours ago, happiness said:
On 2/6/2018 at 2:01 PM, JASKN said:

I can still get on the internet and badmouth any branch of the government.  

With the Govt spying, there are many reasons you can’t be assured it’s safe to do this. 

If you can stomach it, try listening to some of the far left and far right groups.  Most of what they say is pure drivel, but mixed in are real horrors perpetrated by the government.  Yesterday's news, for example, had the trial of a couple of cops for rape -- who asserted that their arrested and handcuffed teenaged victim consented to sex with the two of them.  They may get off, since too many people still believe -- in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- that cops rarely lie.  (BTW, in thirty odd states, it is not illegal for a cop to have sex with an arrestee.)

The reality is that all our rights go out the window if someone who can't be held to account decides to violate them.  There are huge swathes of immunity, official and otherwise, granted to government agents.  Your primary "guarantor" of free speech is not the Constitution or the courts but rather that your speech is of little or no importance to the government.  But become a whistleblower against a federal agency, for example, and there's an all too good chance of your going to prison, whether or not you actually committed a crime.

And never mind the innumerable ways the government and government agents can legally violate your rights....

8 hours ago, happiness said:

I’m not sure that America comparing favorably to other counties means much, as the rest of the world sets the bar pretty low. 

From https://www.cato.org/human-freedom-index,

The top 10 jurisdictions in order were Switzerland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and, tied at 9th place, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Selected countries rank as follows: Canada (11), Sweden (13), Germany (16), the United States (17)....

(emphasis added).  Other indices of freedom are similarly unfriendly to American pretensions.

8 hours ago, happiness said:

So what are my options?

  1. Try to find a more effective  way to communicate the issue even though the prospect of positive change anytime soon seems impossible.
  2. Avoid debate and try to block out current events. Focus on my life and generating enough funds for more offshore treatments. 
  3. Say the Hell with it all, it’s been fun.

As to #1: You cannot reason a man out of what he wasn't reasoned into in the first place.  #2: Today it's medical treatments. Tomorrow it will be something else.  Being an ostrich is not an answer.  #3:  Not knowing your meaning, I can't comment.

If you choose to stay in America, your best option is to batten the hatches against the coming storm of rights violations and eventual tyranny. How you do that depends on the particulars of your situation.

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15 hours ago, Eiuol said:

If people start "dying off", that's reason to say capitalism fails for the pharmaceutical industry.

I must assume that you meant "that's NOT a reason to say capitalism fails for the pharmaceutical industry."

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I mean that it is a reason.

We would expect people not to "die off" under capitalism and if people are allowed to use riskier drugs. Riskier, as in still under examination by its developers, not that these drugs are less likely to work. The larger trend would be that people live longer and that this will further help research. If the trend were that people died sooner or at a faster rate, then this would make us question that capitalism is as good as we say it is.

Capitalism is good due to its freedom, and that freedom produces good effects.

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21 hours ago, Eiuol said:

If people start "dying off", that's reason to say capitalism fails for the pharmaceutical industry.

That's an odd thing to say. What is it based on? What do you think the purpose of capitalism is?

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

Capitalism is good due to its freedom, and that freedom produces good effects.

That's absurd. Freedom produces all kinds of effects, good and bad. Obviously.

In a free country, lots of people who are currently being kept alive by the state safeguarding them from their own irrationality, would die.

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