Today, a ten year-old little girl, Sarah Murnaghan, is dying in Philadelphia –dying of cystic fibrosis. The same disease my son, Gunner, suffers from. She needs a lung transplant to live or her life will be cut short in the next three to five weeks. Because of government regulations, she cannot be added to the adult/adolescent lung transplant list because she is under 12. And because pediatric lungs are so rare – only 11 were donated in 2012 – her only chance for survival is to be entered into the adult/adolescent lung transplant list and wait her turn.
Her doctors believe that if she gets the opportunity to have an adult/adolescent lung transplant she will survive. And her family has publicly stated that they aren’t asking for any special favors or to jump ahead of the line – just be entered into the line.
But the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, has said “no” – effectively making her a one-woman death panel.