Sunday, June 09, 2013

Kathleen Sebelius: some will live and some will die

Kathleen Sebelius: some live and some die


Harsh reality confronted a nation not ready to hear that a 10 year old, dying from Cystic Fibrosis, is having difficulty obtaining a lung transplantation. Sarah Murnaghan is in the end stages of of this horrific disease with compromised lungs and other organs affected. Sarah’s physicians note without an immediate pulmonary transplantation, she has only weeks to live. Cystic Fibrosis is a very complicated disease, of genetic origin, which could affect the entire body. Thick secretions obstruct airway channels resulting in poor respiratory function, which is the problem in this case. Sarah’s parents desperately want their daughter placed on the adult transplantation list. Unfortunately, the cut-off age is 12. More lungs are available to adults than children, therefore Sarah’s parents went public with their quest. Fox News, in its inimical style, damned the government for its insensitivity to this child and its position concerning Sarah’s parents attempts to have her placed on the adult list. More to the point, Fox blamed the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, as did others, for not signing an order to have Sarah placed on the adult list. Sean Hannity went so far as stating this is reminiscent of death panels. Sebelius was willing to study the issue, yet she noted some will live and some will die. She was referring to the scarcity of transplantable organs available and the overabundance of potential recipients waiting for them. As insensitive as her message came across, she was correct. Three children in Sarah’s region of Pennsylvania are waiting transplantation as well as several dozen adults. Blaming Sebelius is absurd and adds to the political circus around this case. Does the name Terri Schiavo come to mind and the government’s overreach in that case. Fox conveniently forgot to mention that Sarah’s disease involves many other systems in her body. Any of which could potentially terminate her life. Media and political hack’s amnesia to other people awaiting transplants was also very obvious. The government is neither the cause of the patient’s condition nor controls its outcome. Bad genes and a lack of transplantable organs are the culprits.  Many of us have children and feel the pain these parents are suffering. This is not the case to take a stand against Obamacare. Organ allocation is difficult and emotionally trying. Decisions made daily determine who lives and who dies. Unfortunately, it can be any one of us at the end to the stick. Sarah was given temporary reprieve this week by a court, which allowed her to be listed as an adult. As a physician and a father, I hope Sarah receives her lung transplant and lives a long life, epidemiological statistics of Cystic Fibrosis unfortunately state otherwise. Mark Davis MD, author of the forthcoming book, Obamacare: Dead on Arrival, A Prescription of Disaster and the book hated by attorneys, Demons of Democracy. President of Healthnets Review Services:,, Manager of the group on LinkedIn, Government in Transition.

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