Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/2/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Health

Breast Cancer in Men: More men having double mastectomies Watch

Image of Male breast cancer accounts for 1 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Males have a much lower risks of developing breast cancer. How men are treated -compared to female patients- is now under research after one study stated that the number of men opting for double mastectomies have nearly doubled. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


OLD HEARTS: Many Americans have hearts older than their chronological age Watch

Image of Many Americans have an old, old heart . and while this sounds like the lyric to a country western song, it's a biological fact for many.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many Americans have an old, old heart... and while this sounds like the lyric to a country western song, it is a biological fact for many. A new study says that three out of four Americans' hearts are older than their chronological age. This sobering medical fact means ... continue reading


Deadly amoeba kills 14-year-old Olympic hopeful Watch

Image of Michael Riley Jr., three-time Junior Olympic qualifier posing with his medals.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three-time Junior Olympics qualifier Michael Riley passed away last Sunday after a short battle with a rare brain infection. His family says they will pursue a campaign for a better understanding of the disease to honor the short, but well-lived, life of the teen. ... continue reading


Federal guidelines for school lunches: Does it really make a difference? Watch

Image of More food was wasted after federal guidelines requiring healthier options was enacted.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even if school trays are loaded up with fruits and vegetables during lunchtime, kids are not actually eating them. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Healthier lunches have been required in schools in accordance to federal guidelines, but children remain ... continue reading


Orthorexia: The third major eating disorder Watch

Image of Over-restricting yourself can lead to malnutrition.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Obsessions with healthy eating could yield dangerous results, due to the lack of essential minerals and vitamins. An eating disorder called orthorexia may be silently leading avid nutrition fans toward malnutrition and even death. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Bloodstream swimming 'fish' delivers drugs and detects toxins in human body Watch

Image of Microfish glow red in the presence of toxins.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Microfish, 3D-printed microbots have been developed at the University of California San Diego. The "smart" microbots were created to swim through bloodstreams to deliver drugs to specified places in the body. They can also sense and remove toxins. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Does self-control end up hurting you? New research pinpoints its negative affects Watch

Image of The brain activates different sections depending on stimulus.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a test involving 120 images of faces, a new study claims self-discipline is negatively affecting our ability to recall information. Researchers hope the new findings will help develop treatments for certain conditions like ADHD and addiction. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


LIVING SICK: Global life expectancy increases faster than healthy life expectancy Watch

Image of Misao Okawa, the oldest woman in the world at 117-years-old.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study shows that men and women across the world are living an average of six years longer than they did 25 years ago. Even in some of the world's least developed countries, life expectancy is rising. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Healthy life ... continue reading


Are people who worry more creative? New study links neuroticism, daydreaming and creativity Watch

Image of [Photo by: Shutterstock]

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Neurotic people tend to be more anxious and sensitive toward matters that don't usually concern people. Psychologist and self-proclaimed neurotic, Adam Perkins believes there is a link between neuroticism, creativity and daydreaming. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


87-year-old woman to have unusual 'unicorn horn' removed from head Watch

Image of Liang Xiuzhen, 87, and her

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What began as an itchy mole on the head of an 87-year-old villager in China has sprouted into a horn. The "horn" grew 13-cm long, earning her the nickname "unicorn woman" from local residents. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Liang Xiuzhen, an 87-year-old ... 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, Colossians 1:9-14
9 That is why, ever since the day he told us, we have ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:2-3, 3-4, 5-6
2 Yahweh has made known his saving power, revealed ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 3rd, 2015 Image

Pope Saint Gregory the Great
September 3: St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of ... 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