Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/2/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Parents sued to get daughter on faster waiting list; doctors say many new questions have been raised

The world has been closely following the plight of 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, a girl with end stage cystic fibrosis whose parents sued to have her removed from a child's waiting list for a lung transplant in order to receive lungs from an adult donor in a timely fashion. Sarah is now on her second set of lungs, after her initial transplant was rejected. The incident is provoking questions about ethical behavior in the medical community.

Sarah is now taking some breaths on her own, although she continues to breathe mostly with the help of a ventilator.

Sarah is now taking some breaths on her own, although she continues to breathe mostly with the help of a ventilator.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/2/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Sarah Murnaghan, lung transplant, ethics


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The second lung transplant given to the Pennsylvania girl raises new questions about how to make the best use of a precious resource, ethicists say.

Sarah's case is controversial as her parents sued to get her onto the transplant list for an adult set of lungs. Typically, children are considered only for child-size lungs.

"Sadly, she faces very long odds of surviving. Even with good donor lungs, survival rates are only 50 percent at six years," Arthur Caplan, a physician and head of the division of bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City says.

"She apparently got low quality organs to try and keep her alive to 'bridge' her to another transplant," Caplan says.

"Did it make sense to give her a second set of lungs in a pretty close-to-experimental procedure? She surely needed them, but given her medical situation, should she have been on the adult list in the first place?"

A second organ transplant is inherently controversial. "If the goal is to save lives with scarce lungs, should re-transplants ever be done following an initial acute failure of a first set?" Caplan asks. "I would say no, if others could have used organs who had not had a first shot. That is a tough position, but lung transplants are rare, and not yet on a par with kidney or liver transplants."

Sarah is now taking some breaths on her own, although she continues to breathe mostly with the help of a ventilator. Murnaghan posted pictures on Facebook of her daughter smiling wanly. She's due for additional surgery to repair her diaphragm, which was damaged during the operation, her mother says.

"Sarah is doing well, alert, improving inch by inch," Murnaghan posted on her Facebook page this weekend. Sarah's "surgery will bring us closer to successful extubation," in which doctors remove her breathing tube.

A previous attempt to remove Sarah from her breathing tube was unsuccessful. "Ever since the unsuccessful extubation she has struggled with fears that she will suffocate and stop breathing."

It's always difficult to decide how to allocate organs, because it means denying someone a chance at life, Pediatrician G. Kevin Donovan, director of the Edmund D. Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics says.

The best way to make those decisions "is probably not to involve the courts," Donovan says. "The courts will have the same sympathy that we all would, but not the same medical information" as doctors at the bedside.

"It really is a very difficult case," he says. "And difficult cases make good publicity, but bad precedents."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Health

The Price Women Pay Having an Abortion

Image of Abortion wreaks havoc on a woman's mental health.

By Emily Derois

The issue of the legalization of procured abortion is one of the most significant debates of our time. The arguments are highly passionate and emotional, as women and men alike fight for what they claim to be fundamental rights. Those who defend the Right to Life of ... continue reading


Amazing 'bionic' arms provided for man shorn of limbs -- 40 years later Watch

Image of The process is a relatively new surgical procedure that reassigns nerves that once controlled the arm and hand.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Leslie Baugh has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Both of his arms, amputated 40 years ago, have since been replaced with a pair of remarkable "Bionic" arms - controlled by his mind. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Baugh had both of his arms ... continue reading


$83,000 drug with 95-100 percent cure rate gets picked up by nations largest manager of pharmacy benefits despite colossal price Watch

Image of AbbVie becomes new leader in the hepatitis c drug market after approval from U.S. Health Regulators.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

AbbVie, a company with a new drug having a hepatitis c cure rate of 95-100 percent, gets an approval from U.S. Health Regulators on December 19. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The cost of AbbVie's new treatment runs at $83,319 for the full treatment.This ... continue reading


Forget the Fountain of Youth: New research discovers ibuprofen's potential to add 12 years to the human life Watch

Image of New research supports ibuprofen's potential to expand the human life up to 12 years.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When people get older, people get sick. What if we could figure out why this cycle occurs, and find ways to intervene with the process? Perhaps, we can then find ways to extend the human health span. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Buck Institute for Research ... continue reading


Global life expectancy up six years from 24 years ago Watch

Image of Death rates from some major chronic conditions were on the rise, including liver cancer caused by hepatitis C, which is up 125 percent since 1990.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

People, on average are living a few years longer than they did in 1990. According to a new study, the average global citizen lives to be 71.5 in 2013, which is up from 65.3 in 1990. Global life expectancy rose by 5.8 years in men and 6.6 years in women between ... continue reading


New plague panic? New strains of malaria appear immune to current treatment Watch

Image of Mass drug treatments have been tried before with varying success.

By Astrid Zweynert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Ka Lar Nar caught malaria for the sixth time when he was working away from home on his small farm in the jungle of southeastern Myanmar but this time it was a lot harder to get rid of it. MIN SAW, Myanmar (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After testing positive for ... continue reading


Growing the Church in China

Image of

By John Smagula

The world's best teas are grown in China, but many of these teas are unknown in the United States. Remote tea farms in exotic locations produce teas that rarely reach the American teacup. Of the 1.75 million tons of tea that China produces each year, less than 2% is ... continue reading


Superbugs strike again: 10 million expected to die annually by 2050 Watch

Image of Drug resistant infections, like E. coli, are expected to resist more antibiotics, making infection prevention impossible.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drug resistant infections currently cause 700,000 deaths worldwide each year. If something is not done to adamantly fight against antimicrobial resistance, a new study professes that number will grow. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Antimicrobial resistance will ... continue reading


If they can't heave health care than neither should you! The hidden agenda behind Obamacare! Watch

Image of President Obama's Affordable Care Act has failed utterly and completely. It has done nothing but harm the United States and its citizens through direct action and ignorance.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When President Obama undertook his extensive campaign to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) one of his chief promises was that individuals were guaranteed the right to keep their current physicians, another was that the ACA would allow those on the new health ... continue reading


Explorer Christopher Columbus did not bring 'STD's' back to Europe Watch

Image of Christopher Columbus has a lot to answer for -- but according to some scientists, bringing syphilis from the new world to the old was not one of them.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus had a lot to answer for - but bringing back syphilis from the new world to Europe was not one of them. A skeleton excavated from a grave in Croatia has disproven this theory, suggesting that the sexually transmitted disease ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 62:11-12
11 This is what Yahweh has proclaimed to the remotest ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 97:1, 6, 11-12
1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 2:15-20
15 Now it happened that when the angels had gone from ... Read More

Reading 2, Titus 3:4-7
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 25th, 2014 Image

St. Eugenia
December 25: There definitely was a Roman martyr named Eugenia but the rest ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter