The birth of the “Death Panel”

I recently heard the story of 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan. Sarah is a sick little girl, she is dying from cystic fibrosis and needs a lung transplant, the problem is juvenile donors are so rare. There are adult lungs available for transplant, however, federal rules in place by the Department of Health and Human Services require patients be 12 to be allowed to be placed on the adult transplant list. Sarah does not have 2 more years, her doctors say she barely has 2 months, without a transplant she will die. Her doctors have sent a request to HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius to have the rules waived for this little girl. The doctors understand the rules were put in place because the majority of those younger than 12 will reject an adult organ, however, Sarah’s doctors have run numerous tests and are confident Sarah will not reject a transplant, no this is not guaranteed, but they believe the pros outweigh the cons in this case. So they requested Mrs. Sebelius to grant their waiver to save Sarah’s life. What do you think Mrs. Sebelius said? Her answer was no.
In response to Mrs. Sebelius’ answer, Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA), went directly to her and asked her to suspend the rules until a review of the policy was complete. Mrs. Sebelius responded with:

“I would suggest sir, that again, this is an incredibly agonising situation where somebody lives and somebody dies.”

Unless I’m wrong she just unilaterally decided that Sarah was going to die. She has expert testimony from numerous doctors telling her this will save Sarah’s life, and Mrs. Sebelius who is not a doctor, she’s not even a nurse, she has no background in medicine what so ever, she is a career politician, she who understands nothing close to what these transplant experts know, decided that it was not in anyones best interests to suspend this rule to save Sarah’s life.
This was not and never will be about medicine, or what was best for Sarah, this was a purely political decision. This ladies and gentlemen is what Obama -care is at its core, and this is what a Death Panel looks like.


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