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Dying Girl Seeking Adult Lungs Wins Temporary Rule Exemption

The family of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who needs a lung transplant to survive won a temporary court order making her eligible to seek an organ from an adult donor after U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius denied her family’s request.

Janet and Francis Murnaghan, whose daughter Sarah suffers from cystic fibrosis, filed a lawsuit yesterday in federal court in Philadelphia seeking to bar Sebelius from enforcing a department rule giving adults and adolescents priority over children younger than 12 for adult lungs. The rule puts children at the “very back of the line for lungs from adults” regardless of medical urgency, according to the complaint.