Controversial Texas bill could help the terminally ill--or dupe them

May 25, 2017

Credit Reynaldo Leal / Texas Tribune

A little-noticed bill in the Texas Legislature has drawn the attention—and the alarm—of health care professionals.

As The Texas Tribune reports, House Bill 3236 would speed up the process by which promising, experimental drugs can get into the hands of terminally ill patients.

The measure’s supporters say the law would get rid of bureaucratic red tape and get help into the hands of patients who need it most. But the bill’s critics say it would only empower snake oil salesman, opening the door to charlatans who would promote “miracle cures” in order to make a quick buck on the backs of dying people.

The Texas House unanimously passed the bill earlier this month, after hearing tearful testimony from ill patients.

But Will Decker, a Houston immunologist and advocate for the terminally ill, has called the measure “the dirtiest, most corrupt, most transparently fraudulent bill I’ve ever seen in my life.”