Like the camel that gets its nose under the tent, once the federal government butts into people’s business it’s very hard to get it out. But in a per curiam decision in Zubik v. Burwell on May 16, 2016, the Supreme Court may have indicated that even in the age of the nanny state, even Supreme Court Justices can abide only so much.
The FDA’s approval process takes years, and for thousands of terminally ill patients, those years may be the difference between life and death. Aware of the risks, many patients are nonetheless willing to try medicines and treatments that are still under investigation in clinical trials. For a significant number of these patients, the alternative is certain death.