While the government shutdown might not affect many of our daily lives in significant ways, you may be surprised to learn that several young cancer patients may not be getting the cancer treatment that they need, because the government trials they participate in may be suspended.
The AFP reports that these patients are in last-ditch chemical trials in order to keep their cancer at bay. It stands to reason that suspending treatment will most likely result in death for many of these patients.
According to a memo released by the National Institute of Health (NIH), if the shutdown continues, "NIH would not admit new patients (unless deemed medically necessary by the NIH Director), or initiate new protocols," during what they are terming a “funding hiatus.”
To put this in perspective, an NIH spokesperson told the AFP that this means approximately 200 patients would be turned away from trials at the NIH Clinical Center, 30 of whom are children.
While we can’t escape hearing the news of the shutdown everywhere we go, this is the first we’ve heard of this. It’s pretty crazy to think that innocent children might die because our government can’t come to a consensus. Hopefully our elected leaders will work to right this wrong before these innocent kids are affected.