"Kresta in the Afternoon"
I'm having trouble thinking through this Sarah Murnaghan lung transplant case. So here's where I'm at and please disagree if I'm missing something.
1) It's a tragic and heart-wrenching situation and that's a given.
2) It seems to me like there is plenty of room for debate about the policy / rules regarding children under 12 and adult lungs and whether that's discriminatory or not. That discussion should be had. BUT, I think we are being too quick to declare this an outrage. Many conservatives, pro-life groups, etc are calling Kathleen Sebelius a one-woman death panel and ripping her "one person lives one person dies" line. Unfortunately she's right. Lungs are in such high demand that if she waves the rule this time for Sarah, another person WILL DIE because they would have gotten that lung.
3) Hard cases make bad law. In this instance we have a case of high-publicity - parents trying to save the life of a child. Obviously high on the tragic-meter, so people show outrage and demand a resolution. Understandable. But what if we knew who the next match on the list was who wouldn't get this lung? What if that person was a 35-year-old father of 5? What if he ran to the cameras as well? Do you want to be the one who says - "Uh we are changing the rules because of public outcry and the lung you were going to get now goes to this girl. Sorry. Kiss your family good-bye." The fact is there are a lot of "Sarahs" out there both young and old and everywhere in between. Should publicity be the determining factor?
4) We can't pretend like the rules and regulations and policies that govern these types of things are not difficult. If you have a better way than government I'd like to hear it. Should it be a free market? If you have the money to pay for a lung you can buy one that matches? What about a straightforward list? First name on the list gets the first one that matches? But then why should an 80-yr-old lifetime smoker get a lung over a 14-year-old with a genetic abnormality? How about an age limit? The point is we need rules and don't pretend they are easy to make.
So there you go. I wish there was a magical way everyone on the lung transplant list could get a lung, but that's not the case. And I am having trouble seeing why publicity should dictate who lives and who dies.
Here are some other articles:
Kathleen's Choice - Bill Kassel
Federal Judge Issues a Reprieve for Ten year Old Sarah Murnaghan but the Dark Cloud of Death Hovers Over ObamaCare - Deacon Keith Fournier