Government Shutdown vs. Terminal Cancer

The shutdown of the government may mean absolutely nothing to you because you’re not a federal worker, in a poverty program, a veteran, or even a terminal cancer patient. But if you fall under any of the categories listed above the government shutdown may be a life or death situation for you, especially those with terminal cancer.

While we are in are in day 9 of the government shutdown cancer patients are struggling for their lives because the National Institute of Health (NIH) is no longer accepting new patients for their clinical trials. But, they are allowing the current patients to continue their participation in the trials. Each week the NIH takes about 200 terminal patients whose cancer is not being demolished by chemotherapy and other methods to get rid of their cancer.

Three cancer patients spoke out to news channels to get their stories across as to why the government needs to continue to fund not only their clinical trails but also other patients who are in the same situation as them.

The NIH has been extremely aware of this situation and feels terrible for what is going on. In an interview with NPR, ‘NIH’s director, Francis Collins, says that the agency’s clinical center is often called the “House of Hope.” Now, that source of hope isn’t available for hundreds of Americans who are either struggling with illness or watching one of their loved ones battle a rare disease.”

As for the government, lawmakers have suggested a solution offering legislation to fun a few areas the NIH being one of them. But, this has not been passed yet. Michelle Langbehn is one of the cancer patients who spoke out and is taking matters into her own hands by placing a petition online to help her fight cancer and stop the shutdown.

As someone who may or may not be effected by this I would like you to think about the following questions, do you think that The National Institute of Health should still be able to continue their clinical trials without the funding from the government? Is it fair to continue the trials for the already enrolled patients and put a hold on about 200 or more new patients? Who is to blame if these cancer patients die during this time?

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