2nd Family Sues Sebelius Over Organ Transplant

Judge rules that 11-year-old can go on adult waiting list

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 6, 2013 5:28 PM CDT | Updated Jun 6, 2013 6:09 PM CDT

(Newser) – This might help explain why health secretary Kathleen Sebelius didn't think it was wise to intervene on organ-donor rules in the case of a young girl needing a lung transplant. One day after that family sued and won the right to have the 10-year-old placed on the adult waiting list, a second family has done the same, reports NBC News. The second family also was successful, convincing a federal judge to allow the 11-year-old to get on the adult list, reports AP. Under the current system both families are challenging, patients younger than 12 are supposed to use a pediatric waiting list, but it has far fewer organs available.

“Javier is severely ill and if he does not receive a donated set of lungs very soon he will die,” says the court filing by the boy's mother, Milagros Martinez. “Without one he will most likely die before his 12th birthday in August.” Javier Acosta, like the child in the first suit, has cystic fibrosis—and his older brother died of the same disease in 2009. The boy is from the Bronx, but he, too, is in a Philadelphia hospital. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, meanwhile, has called an emergency meeting for Monday to review its guidelines.

Health secretary Kathleen Sebelius.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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