KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Judge Orders Sebelius To Put Girl Who Needs Lung On Transplant List

A federal judge intervened in the case of a 10-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis who needs a lung transplant, ordering HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to provide an exception and place the girl on the adult lung transplant list.

USA Today: Judge Orders Dying Pa. Girl Put On Transplant List
The national organ-transplant network is to hold an emergency review Monday, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said in a statement. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday refused to intervene in the lawsuit brought by Sarah's parents, saying that medical experts should make transplant decisions. She noted that three other children in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are also gravely ill (Winter, 6/5).

Politico: Sarah Murnaghan Lung Transplant Case: Sebelius Ordered To Make Exception On Transplant
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to allow 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan to be moved to the adult lung transplant list, giving her a better chance of receiving a potentially life-saving transplant. The quick and unusual ruling, made after a hastily scheduled emergency hearing, follows a campaign by the family and some members of Congress to pressure the Obama administration to change a federal policy that puts children under age 12 at the bottom of the list of those who can receive donated adult lungs (Norman and Millman, 6/5).

Reuters: Pennsylvania Girl Eligible For Adult Organ Transplant After Ruling
A 10-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis who had been kept off an adult organ transplant list due to an age restriction will now be eligible for an adult lung transplant, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled on Wednesday. The family of Sarah Murnaghan, a patient at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, sued to prevent the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from enforcing a policy that prevents children under age 12 from getting adult lung transplants regardless of how ill they are (Honan, 6/5).

Bloomberg: Sebelius Sued By Dying Girl's Family Over Transplant Rule
The family of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who needs a lung transplant to survive won a temporary court order making her eligible to seek an organ from an adult donor after U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius denied her family's request.  Janet and Francis Murnaghan, whose daughter Sarah suffers from cystic fibrosis, filed a lawsuit yesterday in federal court in Philadelphia seeking to bar Sebelius from enforcing a department rule giving adults and adolescents priority over children younger than 12 for adult lungs (Wayne and Edney, 6/6).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.