June 6, 2013
Judge Rules Sarah Murnaghan Can Be On Adult Lung Transplant List
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
A federal judge has ruled that 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan can be put on the list for a lung transplant.
The young Pennsylvania patient has cystic fibrosis and was given just a few weeks to live if she did not receive a lung transplant. Doctors put her on a transplant list for adults because so few children's lungs become available. The adult list requires children to be at least 12-years-old.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced yesterday that the feds would not be interfering with the case. She called for a "transparent deliberative" official review to be done as soon as possible.
Pennsylvania congressman Patrick Meehan said the federal court ruling grants a temporary restraining order and suspends the under 12 policy.
“This ruling protects Sarah´s rights under the Constitution and gives her a fighting chance at life. Sarah now has the opportunity to be afforded her appropriate place on the waiting list. It´s what Sarah, her parents and all those who support them have been fighting for all along," Meehan said. “We will continue the effort to ensure that the same is true for children across the country in a similar situation. The arbitrary policy discriminates against Sarah and other children under 12 years of age. These decisions should be made based on need and sound medical judgment, not age."
He said tireless efforts of Sarah's family, particularly her parents, have been an inspiration.
"I´m grateful also to Sarah´s legal team and to Judge Baylson for his expedited ruling," Meehan said on Wednesday referring to the temporary restraining order to prevent the US Department of Health and Human Services from interfering.
According to statistics from Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), ten lung transplants were completed on children ten and under in 2012 alone.
US District Judge Michael M. Baylson said having considered the matter, he decided to grant the motion for Sarah Murnaghan to be considered for receipt of donated lungs from adults based on the medical severity of her condition as compared to the medical severity of persons over 12 in the OPTN system.
"This Order shall remain in effect unless and until the Court orders otherwise at the conclusion of the hearing on a preliminary injunction," the judge said. "A hearing on the preliminary injunction will be held June 14, 2013, at 10 a.m. in Courtroom 3A."