On Tuesday, House Republicans pressured Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius to intervene on behalf of 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan who will die unless she receives a lung transplant in the coming weeks. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) urged Sebelius to bypass regulations that require the lung she needs to be offered to adults before it is offered to children. “It simply takes your signature,” Price said.
Murnaghan, who is suffering from a terminal case of cystic fibrosis, is ineligible for the lung she needs to survive because she is not yet 12-years-old, the minimum age to be defined as an adult. Federal regulations require that adult patients first have access to donated organs before they are offered to children.
Last week, Sec. Sebelius ordered a review of the policy relating to lung allocations seeking to make it easier for children to have access to available transplants. On Sunday, Murnaghan’s family hailed the secretary’s decision but noted that the review will not save their daughter’s life.
“Secretary Sebelius’ decision to not exercise her very clear authority under the law to intervene and mandate a variance that would help save Sarah’s life is devastating,” Murnaghan’s family said in a statement. “Essentially, Sarah has been left to die.”
Price, a doctor, told Sebelius that she has the unique opportunity to personally save a life and urged her to take it.
“Madam secretary, I would urge you, this week, to allow that lung transplant to move forward,” Price said.
“I can’t imagine anything more agonizing that what the Murnaghans are going through,” Sebelius replied. She said she has investigated the rules surrounding organ transplants before Prince interrupted her.
“It simply takes your signature,” he asserted. “A study will take over a year. This young lady will be dead.”
Watch the clip below:
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