Senator Paul Bettencourt Honored By MD Anderson Cancer Center

Houston – Senator Paul Bettencourt, Texas State Senator for District 7, was honored by the MD Anderson Cancer for his work in passing the “Right to Try” legislation in the Texas Senate. The legislation, HB 21/SB 694, was passed unanimously (31-0) by the Texas Senate. Also honored were Texas State Representatives Kyle Kacal and Ken King. Representative Kacal was the author of the “Right to Try” legislation in the Texas House and Senator Bettencourt was the Senate sponsor.

“In terminal illness situations, time is the great predator,” said Senator Bettencourt. “The Right to Try legislation cuts through the red tape and ensures that terminally ill patients and their doctors have quicker access to experimental drugs and treatments that could prolong their lives.”  

This legislation is named after Andrea Sloan, an Austin attorney who battled ovarian cancer and waited for several months for an experimental drug her doctors believed could extend her life.  She ultimately did obtain the experimental drug she and her physician sought, and tests showed that the drug was achieving its purpose; unfortunately, the delay in obtaining the drug took its toll, and her body was too weak to fight off pneumonia.

“I am proud that this compassionate legislation is now in effect and offering Texans with terminal illnesses a chance to fight for their lives,” continued Bettencourt. “The government has no business standing in the way of a doctor and patient who have exhausted all other options and want to try different treatments. I am proud that this legislation was passed 31-0 in the Texas Senate.”

 For his work on this, and other legislation, Senator Bettencourt was named the “Senate Freshman of the Year” by Capitol Inside for the 84th Legislative Session.