Stephen G. Harvey, JD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=L13-1069.
Harvey SG. The 2013 Lung Allocation Controversy. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159:794. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-159-11-201312030-00021
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(11):794.
TO THE EDITOR:
Halpern (1) refers to the temporary restraining orders issued on 5 and 6 June 2013 by Judge Michael M. Baylson, a federal judge in Philadelphia, as “a troubling precedent,” “circumvention of due process,” and “legal wrongs.” He says that the temporary restraining orders suggest “either failure to recognize that preferential treatment for some recipients will adversely affect others (who may not be much older than 12) or that the court considered these 2 children's lives more valuable than others.”
His assertions are incorrect. I assume that he is aware that a specific federal regulation, a binding law, requires that organs be allocated on the basis of medical urgency, with no exception for children younger than 12 years. He may not know that the legal complaint filed on behalf of Sarah Murnaghan and Javier Acosta asked only that they receive access to adult lungs on the basis of the medical urgency of their conditions and that they sought no special preference. Certainly no suggestion was made at any time that their lives were more valuable than those of others.
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