Judge Rules in Favor of Pa. Girl Sarah Murnaghan Who Needs Lung

In this May 30, 2013 photo provided by the Murnaghan family, Sarah Murnaghan, center, celebrates the 100th day of her stay in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with her father Fran, left, and mother Janet. The 10-year-old suburban Philadelphia girl has been hospitalized at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for three months with end-stage cystic fibrosis. Her family wants an exception made for Sarah to get an adult lung, because so few pediatric lungs become available. Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, says she doesn’t want to intervene in transplant decisions when other children are just as sick. Sarah’s relatives say they want the policy changed for all children awaiting a lung transplant, not just Sarah. Credit: AP

PHILADELPHIA (TheBlaze/AP) — A federal judge in Philadelphia has made a dying 10-year-old eligible to seek donor lungs from an adult transplant list.

U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson says he is granting the temporary request because of the severity of Sarah Murnaghan’s condition.

Her mother, Janet Murnaghan, says the family is thrilled by the ruling. It’s in effect until a June 14 court hearing.

The family is challenging organ transplant rules that say children under age 12 must wait for pediatric lungs to become available. The Murnaghans say that rarely happens.

Sarah’s doctors believe they can perform a successful transplant with adult lungs.

Sarah has been hospitalized at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for three months with end-stage cystic fibrosis.

Judge Rules in Favor of Pa. Girl Sarah Murnaghan Who Needs Lung

In this May 30, 2013 photo provided by the Murnaghan family, Sarah Murnaghan, left, lies in her hospital bed next to adopted sister Ella on the 100th day of her stay in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Hoping to get a lung transplant, the 10-year-old suburban Philadelphia girl has been hospitalized at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for three months with end-stage cystic fibrosis. Credit: AP 

On Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius declined to intervene.

Acting on behalf of the dying little girl, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) begged Sebelius to “suspend the rules until we look at this policy” during a recent House hearing.

“I would suggest, sir, that, again, this is an incredibly agonizing situation where someone lives and someone dies,” she replied.

“The medical evidence and the transplant doctors who are making the rule — and have had the rule in place since 2005 making a delineation between pediatric and adult lungs, because lungs are different than other organs — that it’s based on the survivability [chances],” she added.

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