Skip to comments.Sebelius: I canít suspend the lung-transplant rules for a dying 10-year-old
Posted on 06/04/2013 6:35:23 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Portrait of a bureaucratic nightmare: A little girl’s dying from cystic fibrosis and has three to five weeks to live unless she gets a lung transplant before then. The good news is that adult lungs can be modified for a child her age in a way that’ll save her life — except that, because she’s only 10, she’s not eligible for them. The “adult” list starts at 12; everyone younger than that goes to the children’s list, where lungs are much harder to come by. The question is, does Sebelius have the authority to suspend those age limitations and make the girl, Sarah Murnaghan, eligible for an adult transplant?
I honestly don’t know the answer. Murnaghan’s parents say Sebelius’s authority is clear; Sebelius herself claims that HHS’s lawyers have told her she can’t do it. A life hangs in the balance. On one side:
[U]nder existing policy all adults in the region with her blood type will be offered the lungs first, her parents say, even those more stable and with less severe conditions. The girl’s parents called for a change in the policy after their appeal was denied…
United Network for Organ Sharing, also a nonprofit under contract with the government, said a committee would review the policy and the public would have a chance to comment on any proposed changes. But spokeswoman Anne Paschke said any changes most likely won’t come quickly enough to benefit Sarah or others like her.
“The policy development process is not fast,” she said in an email to The Associated Press. “Organ allocation policies are created to transplant as many people as possible overall, result in the fewest waiting list deaths overall and result in the best possible survival overall. In developing policies, committees and the board weigh data, medical evidence and experience, and public input.”
On the other:
Dr. Stuart Sweet from St. Louis Children’s Hospital, who helped write the pediatric transplant system, said the case ‘tugs at his heart’ but that no system is perfect.
He said that if he changed the system for Sarah’s advantage, ‘there’s another patient, very likely an adolescent, who gets a disadvantage‘.
That’s the key question, right? If you waive the rules and bump her up the adult list, does someone else die because they’re forced to keep waiting? And the other question is, why is someone on the children’s list if a modified adult lung would save them? I don’t understand offhand using a fixed age cutoff instead of a qualitative assessment of each patient to maximize their odds of a transplant. If an adult organ would work for her and there are more adult organs to be had, that’s the list she should be on. Sebelius herself seems sufficiently troubled by this to have ordered a review of transplant protocols.
I’m flagging this for you now just because, with the attention paid to it by GOP congressmen in today’s hearing (Tom Price pressed Sebelius on it too) and with Drudge picking it up this afternoon, there’s a chance it’s going to be blow up in the media in the next few days. Now you’re caught up on the background. And no matter what happens, Ace is right that having the head of HHS telling Congress “someone lives and someone dies” is poisonous optics with the public already sour on ObamaCare. Good luck with your 2014 strategy, Democrats.
This is what a death panel looks like.
I despise this ho.
She runs true to her gene pool.
The spawn of idiot former Ohio gov. Gilligan.
I wonder if the girl’s parents are Republicans?
At least can she have more soup? How far society has toppled and no modern Dickens in sight.
Ol’ Stinkeye, the one-person death panel.
Thwe girl just needs to post a fabricated birth certificate online showing that she was born in 1961 and she’ll be fine. What makes anybody think she’s not an adult anyway?
You stole my line, but I think you nailed it. A one-person death panel. This is what happens when the gov’t runs health care.
If she were only a little browner the papers would be signed already.
I ran a search on political contributions and didn't find anything.
Dad is Global Director, Customer Strategy & Global Sales Operations for SAP in Philly.
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obamas death panel so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their level of productivity in society, whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
It does us no good to incite fear in people by saying that theres these end-of-life provisions, these death panels, Murkowski, a Republican, said. Quite honestly, Im so offended at that terminology because it absolutely isnt (in the bill). There is no reason to gin up fear in the American public by saying things that are not included in the bill.
Democrat (Oregon) who authored the provision on end-of-life counseling, said he is astounded that Palin has not tempered her bleak descriptions of the health care bill. Its deliberate at this point, Blumenauer said. If she wasnt deliberately lying at the beginning, she is deliberately allowing a terrible falsehood to be spread with her name.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius rebuffed an appeal from Rep. Lou Barletta on behalf of a girl who needs a lung transplant but cant get one because of a federal regulation that prevents her from qualifying for a transplant.
I would suggest, sir, that, again, this is an incredibly agonizing situation where someone lives and someone dies, Sebelius replied. The medical evidence and the transplant doctors who are making the rule and have had the rule in place since 2005 making a delineation between pediatric and adult lungs, because lungs are different that other organs that its based on the survivability [chances]. Barletta countered that medical professionals think Murneghan could survive an adult lung transplant. During the exchange, he also said that the girl has three to five weeks to live.
Sebelius reminded Barletta that 40 people in Pennsylvania are on the highest acuity list for lung transplants.
Dear Murkowski and Blumenauer, You were wrong. Dead wrong. Signed, Future Obamacare Victim
Update by Stacy: Governor Palin just weighed in on the Sebelius decision, via Facebook:
The government will bend the rules left and right to harass targeted taxpayers, conservative patriots, selected journalists, etc., but it will strictly exercise inconsistent and subjective rules to deny a child a shot at life. And they called us liars when we spoke of death panels faceless bureaucrats coming between you and your doctor to make life and death decisions about a loved ones survival. It doesnt sound so far fetched anymore, does it?
- Sarah Palin
I refuse to accept the “new normal”. How soon can the adults be put back in charge?
Gee, a bureaucrat deciding who lives and dies . . . who’da’ thunked’ that’d happen? Palin? Who’s she? Ain’t ‘dis a wunnerful’ country?
She is truly vile.
Yet another “late term abortion”” to this witch!
If the parents were two lesbians and the girl was an adopted Asian, she would have the lungs already.