Judge Orders Girl Added to Transplant List

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Judge Orders Girl Added to Transplant List
1
Thu, 06-06-2013 - 1:37pm

Has anyone been following the story of the 10 year old girl with CF who is in desperate needs for donor lungs, but cannot get on the adult regsitry because she is too young?  Her parents have been asking for help from politicians, who have been lobbying for the secretary of health to intervene.  They finally got a judge to issue an order that gives the girl an exception to the standard transplant rule for 10 days: 

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/05/18779741-judge-orders-girl-added-to-adult-lung-transplant-list?lite

There is a debate now on whether judges should be able to intervene in a medical case such as this, that the decision on who receives organs should not be made by non-medical people.  

Any thoughts on the story?

Avatar for adamsmomplus2
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2000
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 12:17am

I have followed this and coincidentally have a 10-year-old dd with CF named Sarah.

The transplant system is replete with harsh realities. People who need organ transplants die waiting, they die due to organ rejection, they die due to infection. A judge ordering someone onto the transplant list does not mean an organ magically becomes available.

Do I fault the parents for doing all they can to save their daughter? Absolutely not. Is the transplant system "fair?" Absolutely not. But there have to be protocols or guidelines. My fear in this case is a slippery-slope. If the system can be overridden by a judge everytime someone challenges the protocols, the courts are going to be clogged with lawsuits demanding placement on the list, even if medical personnel don't believe someone is a good candidate for a transplant. What then becomes a risk is that people with families who are savvy, can easily access and navigate the legal system get a judge to order them on the list at the expense of a family waiting their turn and following the "rules."

There is no perfect answer. Transplantation is risky. Death is a real part of life. But I am fairly certain the policy makers with medical knowledge are not looking for ways to exclude children. They are trying to make the best of a bad situation where lack of organs and lack of time are the reality.

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