Patients' Rights Act

An Arizona family is leading the fight against government control of personal health decisions. In September 1999, 4-year-old Thomas Navarro was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. After surgery to remove the tumor from Thomas's brain, doctors prescribed the traditional regimen of chemotherapy and radiation.

Thomas's parents were alarmed to learn that Thomas would likely suffer severe side effects or even death from traditional treatment. They decided to pursue for their son an alternative cancer therapy that has shown promise in other children (see www.cancermed. com). However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated that before Thomas can receive the alternative treatment, he must first try — and fail — allopathic therapies.

Time is running out for Thomas and millions of other patients who cannot access their desired treatment. A campaign is underway to pass the Thomas Navarro FDA Patients' Rights Act to protect the right to choose medical treatment. Contact Citizens for Health at 800-357-2211 or visit www.citizens.org.

— Mike Liguori