Idaho House Passes Right to Try Legislation by Wide Margin 

click to enlarge John Knudsen wrote to the Idaho Legislature in Feb. 2015: "I was given the death sentence five years ago. - PHOTO BY GEORGE PRENTICE
  • photo by George Prentice
  • John Knudsen wrote to the Idaho Legislature in Feb. 2015: "I was given the death sentence five years ago.
"Right to try" legislation in Idaho is one more step closer to becoming a reality: The Idaho House voted 66-1 this morning to approve House Bill 481, which would allow Idaho patients who have been given a fatal diagnosis to access medications that have passed through the first phase of testing but are awaiting full approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

"I think this is an important bill that clears government out of the way," said Rep. Melissa Wintrow (D-Boise), who sponsored the measure. 

Earlier this year, Wintrow met John Knudsen, a Boise man suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aka ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. It was Knudsen who suggested Wintrow draft the right-to-try legislation. 

"There's nothing the doctors can do for me now," Knudsen told Boise Weekly in Februrary. "But maybe this legislation can help other people who someday may be in my situation."

"This bill would release doctors, insurance companies and hospitals and puts the full responsibility on the patient," Wintrow told her colleagues on the floor of the Idaho House Monday. "This is really about letting the patient make the best decision for his or her own life."

With that, HB 481 passed by an overwhelming majority in the House. The measure now heads to the Idaho Senate for consideration.


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