- Read Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969).
- Read Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. 576 (2013).
- Describe your understanding of what legal access to medical care entails.
- Apply that to the following hypothetical factual scenario:
- Furaha Keita is a 66-year-old retired man who lives in Orangeria, Florida. A year ago, he was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare disease called Progenerickets.
- After unsuccessfully trying all medical treatments available in Florida, Furaha’s doctors recently told him that no more medical treatment possibilities exist.
- Refusing to believe that there truly were no more options, Furaha searched the internet to see what might be available elsewhere in the country. That’s how he discovered ABC Remedy, a new potential genetic therapy for progenerickets patients.
- As it turns out, ABC Remedy is in very limited supply, available only at a single clinic operated by ABC Pharmaceutical Co. in New York, which patented the medicinal recipe. If Furaha medically qualifies as a potential ABC Remedy patient, then the ABC doctors would extract some of Furaha’s blood. Thereafter, they would mix that blood with the secret ingredients in ABC Remedy to see whether a new kind of genetic material can be formed as a result of the combination. If it works, then Furaha would receive monthly injections of that newly created genetic material.
- Furaha asked his medical insurance provider, Medicare, to pre-approve all of the preliminary medical tests needed to determine whether he could be a candidate for ABC Remedy, and if so, to provide all necessary medical support, including travel expenses to and from New York. Medicare denied this request.
- Frightened and angry, Furaha walked into your law firm this morning to meet with your supervising lawyer, Ms. Huang, to discover whether he might have any legal options to help him access ABC Remedy.
- Ms. Huang has requested that you help her by researching the single, but bifurcated legal question of whether federal funds (like Medicare or welfare) law even applies to Furaha’s situation relative to either: (a) medical travel or (b) access to patented medical treatments using his own genetic material. Please provide her with a summary explanation of what you learned through your research.
- Explain what access to justice issues are related to this sort of medical situation. Make suggestions about how to reduce the legal burdens associated with such problems.
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