US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius informed a congressional panel on Tuesday that she won’t intervene in the troubling case of 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, who may have only weeks to live unless she receives a life-saving lung transplant.
As I previously reported for The Inquisitr, Sarah Murnaghan has been living at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHP) with her family since February. Without a lung transplant, she will likely die in a matter of weeks. She has already been waiting a year and half for a pair of children’s lungs.
She’s medically qualified to use a pair of modified adult lungs. However, because of her age, every candidate age 12 or older on the lung transplant list is ahead of her, even patients that aren’t urgently ill.
Her mother, Janet Murnaghan only learned in May that Sarah was so far down the list.
According to the family’s petition to the Organ Procurement Transplant Network: “[S]she has only a week or two before she will lose her battle. If she were two years older, she would have a high probability of receiving lungs in time…”
Instead of demanding an immediate exception for 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, Kathleen Sebelius has asked for a review of pediatric transplant policies so that children who can use the modified adult lungs have a better chance of getting them.
That’s all well and good for the future, but Sarah doesn’t have time to wait.
Representative Lou Barletta (R-PA) addressed Sebelius in a committee hearing: “I’m begging you. … She has three to five weeks to live. Please suspend the rules.”
Kathleen Sebelius said that she couldn’t personally intervene because only qualified medical personnel could make those decisions — especially in light of the fact that there were three other children just as sick at CHP who also needed lung transplants.
[Sarah Murnaghan photo by Janet Murnaghan via Facebook]