Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) urged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today to bypass regulations for 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, who will die unless she receives a lung transplant in the next few weeks (video below).
"Sarah Murnaghan is a ten-year-old young lady in Pennsylvania who has cystic fibrosis. The physicians and scientists have all agreed that if she does not receive a lung transplant in weeks, she will die," said Rep. Price.
"The reason she is not able to receive that lung is because of an arbitrary rule that states if you are not 12 years old, you are not eligible to receive an adolescent lung or an adult lung."
Rep. Price then stated a law that allows the Health and Human Services Secretary to bypass the regulations, noted Mediaite.com.
Secretary Sebelius called the situation “agonizing” and ordered a review of the federal law to make it easier for kids to get transplants, but that review will not save the child's life.
“I can’t imagine anything worse than one individual getting to pick who lives and who dies,” she said.
“Madam secretary, I would urge you, this week, to allow that lung transplant to move forward,” Rep. Price said. “It simply takes your signature. A study will take over a year. This young lady will be dead.”
Secretary Sebelius said that putting Murnaghan next in line would be unfair to other young people who have also been waiting for transplants, reported Politico.com.
“I’m begging you,” Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) told Secretary Sebelius. “Sarah has three to five weeks to live. Time is running out.”
“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 on Sunday. “Essentially, Sarah has been left to die.”