HHS Secretary Sebelius Will Let 10-year old Die – Update


Update: 6/6/2013: Sarah Murnaghan will be placed on a ventilator today. She will not able to breathe without it.

Update: 17:00: U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson is granting the temporary injunction to block Kathleen Sebelius from keeping 10-year old Sarah Murnaghan off the adult lung transplant list. The reason he gave is the severity of Sarah’s condition.

The order is in effect until June 14.

We will see how quickly Sebelius gets to court to fight it.

Sarah Murnaghan

Photo of Sarah Murnaghan and her friend


Kathleen Sebelius, a cold-hearted bureaucrat similar to some we have seen in the IRS, is in charge of our healthcare. We are about to see what it means to have one government agency making life-and-death decisions about Americans. Look to Sarah Murnaghan for our future. Sebelius made the heartless decision to let her die.

Sebelius ordered a review but the review will take a year and Sarah has weeks to live.

Sebelius has an opportunity to make an exception in the lung transplant case of this 10-year old child who is weeks from death but Sebelius has declined to intervene.

She said someone lives and someone dies:

“I would suggest, sir, that, again, this is an incredibly agonizing situation where someone lives and someone dies,” Sebelius replied. “The medical evidence and the transplant doctors who are making the rule — and have had the rule in place since 2005 making a delineation between pediatric and adult lungs, because lungs are different that other organs — that it’s based on the survivability [chances].”

In other words, the rules of the unbending government bureaucracy take precedence. Some live, some die…

Ten-year old Sarah Murnaghan, who has Cystic Fibrosis, cannot receive adult lungs for a transplant she needs to live beyond the next five weeks. She is on the top of the list for pediatric lungs but there are rarely any available. She has been on the waiting list for 18 months. She made the adult list but in order for her to receive adult lungs, every adult on the list must turn them down.

The government rules say that a child must be 12 to be placed at the top of the list to receive adult lungs and Sarah is just shy of her 11th birthday. The age is an arbitrary cutoff because younger children can receive adult lungs. The lungs would work in her case according to her doctors.

There are far more adult lungs available than children’s lungs.

It is true she would displace an adult who is not as sick as she is.