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.
I do believe that we are dealing with the exact same people as you are referring to.
Different time, different country, same people.
Oh lands, I wasn’t aware she was the spawn of our former governor, Gilligan. It all makes sense now. Welcome to Gilligan’s Island,where everyone will be shipwrecked
If we allowed the free market to work and let families of donors get paid, we would have far fewer of this kind of problem. Everyone gets paid in a transplant—the donating hospital, the transplanting hospital, the surgeon—except for the family of the deceased. That’s an artificial price control and of course creates shortages.
This is more of the ineptness of Zer0’s monstrosity of big government. This is an administration that takes no responsibility for its daily failure in this nation. We have the most mighty military in the history of mankind and Zer0 can’t do a relatively small, simple thing like acting to save an ambassador in a foreign land. And, when he does want to do something, like deny 501-C status, it’s a done deal.
Saving the life of Sarah Murnaghan is just too difficult for the behemoth Zer0 only uses for political purposes.
"Doctors say the girl needs an adult lung transplant (because pediatric lungs are so rare). They are confident that she would survive the procedure, but they say she has only three to five weeks to live."
Its issues like this that remind me of how much I hate both political parties. If I was the child’s parent I’d be doing everything possible to save my kid even if it meant taking the life from those further up in line or having the public treasury spend every last dollar to save my kid...
As a Conservative I recognize life is unfair and the public treasury is limited..
So THAT’s the skank in charge of Ubama’s death panel.
Someone call Warren Buffet to tell him that a few chump change millions from him will save this girl instead of him wanting to send his money to the Federal government.
Someone call Michael Bloomberg to tell him that a few chump change millions from him will save this girl instead of him spending millions in ads to take away our guns.
Sebelius is auditioning for her role as chairperson of that Great Death Panel Inside The Beltway.
Thwe girl just needs to post a fabricated birth certificate online showing that she was born in 1961 and shell be fine. What makes anybody think shes not an adult anyway?
I love you, Butter!!
We cant afford to save everyone adults will need to make hard choices..unfortunately many calling themselves Conservative are just as childish and immature as the other side.
As I say this sort of BS just reinforces my dislike for both Dims and GOPers
I’m so sorry, cold water. I think the FReepers are really just mad at ObamaCare. They are angry at bureaucrats playing Gd, and they don’t understand the intricate medical decisions involved. I’m sorry for their response which is disrespectful to adults in this situation.
It’s just horrible when a child is in such danger. There are other children in danger and doctors’ hands are tied legally too. This one is getting press. It’s all sad and I pray for everyone.
Pray tell what that reason may be?
I thought the girl’s doctors said she would be able to accept the transplant. That was from a quick skim of the Daily Mail article. Have to say that I don’t know enough of this issue to really have an opinion.
I was mortified when I read this. Everytime this witch opens her mouth, I swear I think of Sarah Palin and the “death panel” scenerio that she was rolled over hot coals for saying.
Here’s what I’m thinking - there’s an adult out there waiting for a lung. That adult might be the mother of three or the sole supporting member of a family of six. Why should this 10 year old go to the head of the line? Cystic fibrosis destroyed her lungs. How long would it take for that horrible, incurable disease to destroy the transplanted lung?
You would prefer that an "impartial" government panel made that decision?
Or would you prefer that YOU made that decision regarding your loved ones? Or that somebody you loved made that decision about you?
It's personal, Joe. It's damn personal. Between the relative, the survivor and the physician.
At 73, I've had to make that decision more times than I'd like. And it is not for some half-assed government bureaucrat in a federal office 400 miles away to make, dammit!
If you want to abdicate your responsibility, you're free to do it. But don't you dare take that responsibility away from other who are prepared to exercise it, as well.
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