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Dying Girl Who Needs Lungs Gets Another Chance

Update Date: Jun 06, 2013 09:40 AM EDT
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The story of 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan's fight for her life has been recently everywhere on the news. Due to an organ transplant law, Murnaghan, who is dying from cystic fibrosis, must remain on the children's organ waiting list, where the chances of getting a match is a lot harder as opposed to being bumped up to the adult organ transplant list. Knowing that her chances would be better on the adult list, which starts at 12-years-old and older, her parents fought against the rule, hoping that they could get their daughter a little more time. Now, federal judge's ruling has indeed answered their wishes and moved Murnaghan up on the waiting list.

"We are beyond thrilled," said Murnaghan's mother, Janet said to the Associated Press. "Obviously we still need a match."

This temporary order will place Murnaghan on the adult list before wait-listed adults who might not need the lungs as much. She will still be below certain adults with conditions that are considered more dire than hers. Murnaghan has been on the children's lung transplant list for 18 months and has remained at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia since February. Health experts and her parents have stated that adult lungs will work almost perfectly fine in a 10-year-old's body. The age limit does not protect children from getting bad lungs, but rather, takes away their chances of getting a pair of good ones.

This temporary judge order was passed after lawmakers, including Republican Patrick Meehan from PA, worked hard to get the Health and Human Services Department to be more lax on the law. According to Politico, U.S. District Judge Michel Baylson expressed his concerns over the discriminatory aspect of the age limit.

"[The rule] discriminates against children and serves no purpose, is arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion," he said.

The court will have another hearing on Murnaghan's case in June 14.

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