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Pharmaceutical FreedomWhy Patients Have a Right to Self Medicate$
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Jessica Flanigan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190684549

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190684549.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 May 2021

Responsibility and Regulation

Responsibility and Regulation

(p.108) 4 Responsibility and Regulation
Pharmaceutical Freedom

Jessica Flanigan

Oxford University Press

The case against approval requirements is even stronger than the empirical record suggests. When patients die because they knowingly and willingly used a dangerous pharmaceutical, drug manufacturers are not culpable for patients’ deaths because patients consent to the risks associated with dangerous drugs. Yet when patients die because they were prohibited from accessing a drug, those who stand in their way are morally responsible for their deaths. This argument appeals to a moral distinction between killing and letting die, which marks out particular policies, those that kill people rather than allowing some to die, as especially unjust. If we accept the distinction between killing and letting die, we ought to conclude that public officials kill people by enforcing prescription requirements. This thesis lends further support to rights of self-medication, especially the right to try.

Keywords:   approval requirements, doing harm, allowing harm, moral risk, ideal theory, clinical trials, drug lag, right to try, letting die

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