Dallas Buyers Club has been praised by many libertarians for its message of defiance, but what few knew when the movie came out is the story of Oscar-winning actor Elizabeth Taylor’s fight to help HIV patients, which should get a flick of its own.
According to model and entrepreneur Kathy Ireland, the late actress ran a Dallas Buyers Club-style operation from her own home. Her defiance and willingness to stand against the feds in the name of freedom of choice shouldn’t be ignored.
“Talk about fearless—at her home in Bel Air,” Taylor’s old friend told Entertainment Tonight:
“It was a safe house. A lot of the work that she did, it was illegal, but she was saving lives. She said her business associates pleaded with her, ‘Leave this thing alone.’ She received death threats. Friends hung up on her when she asked for help. But something that I love about Elizabeth is her courage.”
Liz Taylor was an outspoken advocate for HIV patients and their right to choose how to go about their own treatment.
When her close friend Rock Hudson died of AIDS in 1985, Taylor felt compelled to dedicate her time and own money to help HIV patients. By 1991, she had started the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which helped to raise awareness about HIV risks and how to prevent it. At the same time, Taylor also opened her home to help those who wanted to choose their own medication.
At the time, the Food and Drug Administration’s monopoly on the US drug market made it difficult for people to choose their own treatments. A problem that is still an issue for many terminal patients in America to this day.
Giving HIV patients the chance to try—at their own risk—was something that appealed to Taylor.
From the Guardian:
“Her network resembles the plot of Oscar-winning drama Dallas Buyers Club, based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, who smuggled drugs to help treat HIV into America during the 1980s. Similar stories have also been told in the Oscar-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague and the HBO film The Normal Heart.”
Originally published here.