Parents to Sebelius: Tweak Transplant Law, Save Our Kid
Girl with cystic fibrosis needs adult lungs fast
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 3, 2013 10:56 AM CDT
US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius attends the 66th World Health Assembly at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, May 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott)

(Newser) – Parents in Pennsylvania are calling for Kathleen Sebelius' help: Their 10-year-old daughter could have just weeks to live without a lung transplant, but current rules stand in her way. Suffering from cystic fibrosis, Sarah Murnaghan has been waiting for 18 months for a transplant. She's at the top of her region's list for pediatric lungs. But adult lungs are available much more frequently, and doctors say modified adult organs could help Murnaghan. Trouble is, she's not eligible to get adult lungs unless everyone on the adult list rejects them.

"We have sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius, stating for her why this is in the scope of her ability to change this law for all of the children rather than let her wait and die," Sarah's mother, Janet, tells CNN. The health secretary has told the family she can't intervene in an individual case but is calling for a review of the rules. A change to the law, however, could take two years."This isn't politics; this is a human issue ... We're gonna let a kid die over red tape?" the mother asks.

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Showing 3 of 20 comments
Rembrandt_Q_Einstein
Jun 3, 2013 4:58 PM CDT
Last time I checked CF isn't curable. So let's say she'll get new lungs. What then, wait till those crap out and fill up with fluid and then wait for another pair? Truth time folks, this kid will be lucky to make it to her teens.
Aloha.Snackbar
Jun 3, 2013 1:57 PM CDT
With all due respect, I'm sure there's a reason that adult lungs aren't meant for children. What makes her life more important than anyone else on that list waiting for a lung?
ChicagoScott
Jun 3, 2013 11:58 AM CDT
No need to change the rules. Taking lungs from a qualified, adult recipient just because this kid needs them, is inappropriate. She waits in line like everyone else, lest we want to create a society wherein the most sympathetic story is the winner, damned if you are anything else.