Sarah Murnaghan, a 10-year-old girl with Cystic Fibrosis, became the poster child for how bureaucratic rules can interfere with decisions that should be made between a doctor and patient.
San Francisco Gate reported today that Sarah's mom, Janet, said that her daughter "had been taken off oxygen, although she still gets support from a machine that helps her breathe, and has started to walk with the aid of a walker." A family spokesperson said Murnaghan could be leaving the hospital this week.
Sarah's case made national headlines when she was refused to be on the list for an adult lung due to national rules, despite the opinion of her physicians that they could save her life with such an intervention. In June, doctors gave her "weeks to live," as reported by John Hayward of Human Events.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius famously told Rep. Lou Barletta during a House hearing,
"I would suggest, sir, that, again, this is an incredibly agonizing situation where someone lives and someone dies." Would Sebelius have had the same opinion if President Obama's child was sick, for example?
Thankfully, Sarah Murnaghan was given a second chance at life after a federal judge intervened, allowing the little girl to receive the lung transplants.
But it should never have come to this.
Physicians should not be stifled by rules made by those who paint all patients with a wide brush. The situation is reminiscent of the Death Panel debate that raged on while President Obama was busy trying to push through the unpopular Affordable Care Act known as ObamaCare.
During the debate in 2009, Sarah Palin expressed concern over Medicare paying for "optional" conversations about advance directives, end of life care, and living wills. The complicit mainstream media focused on her "death panel" phrase in reference to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). PolitiFact even made "Death Panels" their "lie of the year," but they did not attack former DNC chair Howard Dean, who wrote in the Wall Street Journal last month that the IPAB is "essentially a health-care rationing body," which is exactly the point that was being made by Sarah Palin.
Image Source (Sarah with her sister): AP Photo/Murnaghan Family via the Examiner