The desperate parents of Sarah Murnaghan, a 10-year-old girl in end-stage cystic fibrosis, are calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to relent in her department's rules and allow her to be put on the adult organ transplant list. Media reports suggest that the girl has put weeks to live if she does not receive a lung transplant. Federal policy requires that organ recipients be at least 12 years of age in order to be placed on the vital list. The girl cannot receive an adult lung transplant until the available organs are offered to adult patients first.
Over 330,000 people have signed a petition at Change.org to demand that Secretary Sebelius make an exception and allow Sarah to be placed on the organ list. Observers of the controversy note that exceptions to such federal regulations are frequently made in other areas.
In a video interview, Sarah's aunt stated that families of organ donors can insist that the lungs of their loved one can be given to Sarah.
Sebelius has promised to review the policy. Such a review may take more time than Sarah has left.