Few stories pack as emotional a punch as ones that involve someone diagnosed with a terminal illness beating the odds, being the first cured — the one who lives and brings hope to others facing the same death sentence.

A newly released book, “The Right to Try,” shows that such stories aren’t a rarity: Medical breakthroughs happen routinely, and these life-saving treatments are resurrecting people who would otherwise be left for dead. Before opening its pages, be sure to grab your tissue box: The heart wrenching stories of devastation and joy promise to be tear-jerkers for even the most stoic of readers.

Yet this book isn’t meant to just give you a good cry. Rather, its purpose is to highlight the tragedy that such success stories aren’t more commonplace, and raise awareness about how government policy too often prevents terminal patients from accessing drugs that could save their lives.

Darcy Olsen, president of the Goldwater Institute, wrote this book in order to push for policymakers to reform how the Federal Drug Administration grants access to experimental drugs so that more patients are able to try treatments that are still in the testing stages. In fact, all proceeds from book sales go to help this cause.

One might presume that the sole focus of this reform effort would be on Washington, which oversees the Federal Drug Administration and sets the national rules for the drug approval process. The cynical reader might therefore assume that — given the dysfunctional state of affairs in Washington — the effort may as well receive its own terminal diagnosis.

Yet Olsen — whose Arizona-based think tank is a national leader in changing state-level policy — explains that Americans don’t have to wait for the federal government: States are supposed to be able to set their own rules for such matters and many are succeeding in doing just that. She writes:

If states have the authority to give their citizens access to marijuana and drugs to end their lives, certainly they have the authority to allow cancer patients access to investigational medicines to save their lives. If you have the Right to Die, you have the Right to Try. And you don’t have to wait for Washington to secure it.

Goldwater has developed model legislation for states designed to give patients with terminal diagnoses who have exhausted conventional treatments access to investigational treatments that have been identified by their doctors as worth trying and that have passes the FDA’s basic safety testing and are continuing through the approval process.

So far, 24 states have passed such legislation. And, perhaps surprisingly in an era renown for hyper-partisanship and bitter politics, the Right to Try movement has garnered support from across the political spectrum.

Legislation is being introduced in State Houses by both Republicans and Democrats, signed by both Republic and Democrat Governors, and often with near consensus support. And really, the reason why should be obvious: Who doesn’t know someone battling a disease today and want them to have access to every tool possible to fight against death?  Republicans and Democrats are equally affected by illness and all want a system that gives people greater ability to fight to save themselves and their families.

Massachusetts has yet to pass the Right to Try legislation introduced by state Rep. Nicholas A. Boldyga (R-Southwick).

But Bay Staters ought to ask their representatives, what’s the hold up? This isn’t a debate about another spending bill or any old tweak to the tax or regulatory code. This is about giving dying patients some hope that they might be able to access to treatments that could save their lives. It’s about sending a message to Washington that the country wants FDA reform, now. There is no excuse for the legislature to fritter away a year between the introduction of this bill and a vote.

Olsen’s “The Right to Try” provides dozens of examples of those who have been saved by access to breakthrough treatments, and sadly points to even more patients who have been failed by our broken FDA system. Americans shouldn’t accept this FDA system as just another example of inefficient government. The stakes are too high. Buy the book to learn more, and then join the fight to give people the right to try.

Carrie Lukas is the managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum.