June 19, 2021

Evidence Based Wyoming

Wyoming politics, conservatively by the numbers

HJ-2, a good idea to protect our rights

3 min read

Rally the troops, your rights are being left unprotected!

Okay, that may overstate it a bit, but I would encourage you to write your legislators and ask them to support HJ-0002, it will protect your health care rights.

Also please let Rep. John Bear know you appreciate this resolution. He’s worked tirelessly to get it right and is doing great work standing up for your healthcare freedom.

If you need inspiration, here is what I wrote.

(Please don’t copy and paste this is unique to my experience with COVID.)

Howdy <Legislator>,

I’d ask you to support HJ-0002 vigorously.

HJ-0002 does many things; the three most important are:

  1. Protect Wyoming citizen’s “right to try” enshrined in the Wyoming constitution
  2. Protect the Legislature’s right as the only body that can proscribe medical treatments.
  3. Reminding the executive branch of their constitutional duty to protect Wyoming citizens’ health care freedom.

According to the Casper Star-Tribune, the Board of Medicine claims all the statement did was reiterate the standard of “good medicine.” This is hogwash.  The Board’s letter ends with “Failure to meet the standard of care, inappropriate and overprescribing, and overutilization of treatments, medications, and equipment may constitute violations of the Wyoming Medical Practice Act, and will not be tolerated.” If that isn’t a threat to physicians to toe the line, then I don’t know what is.

This issue is personal to me as I had an experience with COVID that could have had a severe outcome. Had not a study indicating steroids as beneficial came out before my ER visit, would my doctor have felt comfortable giving me the steroids I needed? Would that doctor risk his license? Before that study came out, steroids were not considered “standard of care” and at best ineffective for COVID treatment. Notably, the Board of Medicine threatened to come after those who didn’t practice the standard of care.  

The Board of Medicine does valuable work licensing our medical professionals with the proper medical training to make sound judgments working with their patients to ensure their patients have the best care. That said, the Board of Medicine overstepped and violated the constitution.

This brings us to the final point that may be the more important. There are vital constitutional issues at stake here. The “right to try” that every citizen has is subject to the Legislature’s limits must be protected. Wyoming’s government is constitutionally required to protect that right. Not only that, the Legislature must preserve its right to be the only body that can ban specific medical treatments.

HJ-0002 is about protecting the rights our constitution grants us. In the face of a pandemic, the executive branch, even with good intentions, cannot abandon its duty to protect and promote the health care freedom enshrined in the Wyoming Constitution. Nor can the executive branch assume powers explicitly granted to the Wyoming Legislature.

By passing HJ-0002, the Legislature will make clear it will protect its rights and those of Wyoming citizens. HJ-0002 clearly states that the Legislature meant for Wyoming citizens to have the right to try the health care they think is best unless banned explicitly by the Legislature.  

This will have long reaching effect as future courts may rely on this legislative finding to uphold the people’s health care freedom.

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