23 Food Drug Cosm. L.J. 487 (1968)
The Right to Self-Medication - A Continuing Conflict between Congressional and Agency Policy

handle is hein.journals/foodlj23 and id is 515 raw text is: The Right to Self-Medication-
A Continuing Conflict
Between Congressional
and Agency Policy
By BRUCE J. BRENNAN
Mr. Brennan, formerly an attorney with
the Food and Drug Administration, Is Now
in Private Practice in Washington, D. C.
N OUR FREE SOCIETY, GOVERNMENT IS ESTABLISHED
to do only those things that individuals cannot do alone. Govern-
ment's function is to create a climate in which each citizen can exer-
cise his own rights, make his own decisions, and assume his responsi-
bilities. In relating these principles to the field of medicine, this
means that the government should see that the citizen has available
all pertinent information about a drug product and that such informa-
tion is set forth in a truthful and concise manner, so that the citizen
-except where professional medical supervision is clearly required
-can make his own decisions and care for himself.
Much has been said of the right of the individual to engage in
self-medication. As is the case with most rights, this right is based
on human wants and needs. The right to self-medicate has grown
from the demand in our society that the individual be able to deter-
mine for himself what he wishes to do in managing subjective mani-
festations of physical disorders. This right has a cultural basis in
our society stemming from the desire of the individual to fight his
own battles. This need for the public to be able to help itself over-
come the minor complaints, which we regularly experience, has long

THE RIGHT TO SELF-MEDICATION

PAGE 487

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