The ethical plausibility of the ‘Right To Try’ laws

D. Carrieri, F. A. Peccatori, G. Boniolo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


‘Right To Try’ (RTT) laws originated in the USA to allow terminally ill patients to request access to early stage experimental medical products directly from the producer, removing the oversight and approval of the Food and Drug Administration. These laws have received significant media attention and almost equally unanimous criticism by the bioethics, clinical and scientific communities. They touch indeed on complex issues such as the conflict between individual and public interest, and the public understanding of medical research and its regulation. The increased awareness around RTT laws means that healthcare providers directly involved in the management of patients with life-threatening conditions such as cancer, infective, or neurologic conditions will deal more frequently with patients’ requests of access to experimental medical products. This paper aims to assess the ethical plausibility of the RTT laws, and to suggest some possible ethical tools and considerations to address the main issues they touch.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-71
Number of pages8
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Clinical ethics
  • Clinical trials ethics
  • Ethical counselling
  • Right to try laws
  • Terminally ill patients
  • Trusted consent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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