Grassroots Advocacy Tool Kit - Courtesy of BMS


(Date) To: (Recipient) From: (Speaker) RE: (Subject)

Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. Let me begin by saying that (Organization) and its advocacy affiliate, (Organization), who I represent, are obviously concerned about any policy that does not allow for treating individuals with cancer who are deemed too ill or too terminal or by any other similar description. It is particularly disturbing when these policies are targeted at the most vulnerable populations, with individuals who often do not know the system and/or how to advocate for themselves, or their loved ones, regarding issues surrounding health care and treatment decisions. We are also concerned about an arbitrary process that deems a patient’s disease too advanced, or otherwise wrongfully denies access to cancer care that is otherwise routinely and generally accepted as appropriate by cancer care experts and the constituencies we serve. We understand that you have a difficult task, but we ask that any policies be grounded in reasonable respect for human life and for the comfort and well-being of all patients, regardless of income. We also ask that any policy that is ultimately established have a robust and transparent appeals process so that medical professionals with all the facts about an individual's situation can make those facts known and understood by those who may be making the ultimate decision to deny or alter care. Appeals must also be heard in a quick, timely fashion given the seriousness of the situation for most cancer patients. Finally, as we have done in the past, we again ask the committee to carefully consider and evaluate what these policies are doing to patients, care providers and the overall impact on communities in general before proceeding further. We stand willing to work with you but we also stand first and foremost for the well-being of all cancer patients no matter their place in society. Thank you.

Examples have been provided by advocacy and professional societies and have been de-identified. For illustrative purposes only.


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