Federal regulation is preventing a critically ill 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl from receiving an adult lung transplant because she falls short of the 12 year age requirement, Joel Gehrke reports at The Washington Examiner. Pennsylvania lawmakers have asked Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to intervene, but she insists that would be improper. With three to five weeks to live, a young girl has essentially been told to wait for two birthdays she may never see.
The reason is federal regulation, with a charming twist of administrative intransigence. Although they have a medical basis, the girl’s doctors insist she is a viable candidate for an adult organ. There are other extenuating circumstances, namely organ shortages and a list of other donors. However, the heavily regulated organ donation system further illustrates the dysfunctional state of American health care, and the role government action plays in an ongoing tragedy.