Thursday, June 6, 2013

Saving Sarah Murnaghan

For the past two days, we’ve been reading headlines, such as “Sarah has been left to die.” And we’ve seen the parents of Sarah Murnaghan on national television asking HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to change the rules so that the 10-year old child, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, might receive an adult sized lung.

Sebelius has declined to do that. She is supported by a wide range of bioethicists who claim that Sebelius has no right to decide who lives and who dies. At the same time, Sebelius is reviled by tens of thousands who think she should do exactly that.

But of course, this leads us into a quandary. If we allow Sebelius to decide in favor of Sarah, will you accept her decision later on to deny your procedure in question, and let you die?

Be objective now … was the Sebelius decision the proper one? 

- Mustang sends
By the way, please let me publicly thank Mustang for writing terrific posts for me particularly when I am crazed at work.  Tonight's a dinner for 175 I'm in charge of....please keep me in your prayers.  So far, so good~!  Thanks, and thanks to Mustang.



Always On Watch said...

Okay, I'm behind the curve on this story.

Why was an appeal to Sibelius made in the first place?

Because the child is on Medicare?

Because the parameters for organ donations are determined at the federal level?

Always On Watch said...

Disregard the above questions. I found the answer:

...Transplant policy in the U.S. is made and administered by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network working with the United Network for Organ Sharing under contract with HHS....

Always On Watch said...

More Bush Derangement Syndrome?

...U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson wrote in a temporary restraining order that by refusing to set aside the existing rule for children, Sebelius had failed “to protect the very few children nationally who are subject to it.” He added that the evidence showed that the rule “discriminates against children and serves no purpose, is arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion.” Baylson, a George W. Bush appointee, scheduled a hearing for June 14....


FreeThinke said...

Another neat example of the age-old contest between SENTIMENT and PRINCIPLE.

Do we do what we feel MUST be right in a particular situation, or do we "heartlessly" adhere to the legal principles set down in the Constitution.

In other words: Are we governed by LAW or by WHIM?

Personally, I'd rather be governed by Common Sense, and let some of these agonizing dilemmas be resolved by those most profoundly affected by them, BUT in that way CHAOS lies.

No government official from the president on down should have the power of life and death over any citizen -- unless that person is known to be involved in SUBVERSIVE, TREASONOUS ACTIVITY.

FreeThinke said...

Life is inherently unfair. God must have wanted it that way, or He would not have made it so.

With that in mind who are WE to dare to presume to challenge His WIll and His Authority?

Not very long ago every mother and father ACCEPTED the likelihood of infant mortality and early death from childhood diseases.

Medicine, thank God, has made tremendous advances since that time, but unfortunately it has led too many of us to believe we have a RIGHT to the very best care money can buy -- no matter what it may cost.

Personally, I don't think anyone has a "RIGHT" to anything that costs OTHER PEOPLE more MONEY than they can AFFORD without impoverishing themselves.

What's NEXT?

Forcing prospective organ donors to the operating table at GUNPOINT to have a kidney removed, because someone ELSE'S loved one is dying and "needs" the organ?

Forcing elderly people to commit SUICIDE, because they've outlived their usefulness to "society" and are hampering the progress of the young?

Always On Watch said...

Recently, I learned that any patient under the age of 18 is supposed to be considered a pediatric patient. I learned this information when one of my 16 year old students -- a girl who is physically mature -- was refused access to a particular kind of medical specialist who does not have the title of pediatric specialist because -- Get this! -- the rare disease that she has rarely affects anyone under the age of 20.

Yet, BOTH the health care institutions AND the health insurance company held the line regarding this rule, thereby leaving this young lady to ever closer brushes with death including the following: seizures, wasting weight loss, narcolepsy, and heart palpitations.

The parents finally found a pediatric specialist to get the definitive diagnosis. Still, the young lady must receive all treatment from a pediatrician or a pediatric specialist.

At great expense, 10's of 1000's of dollars, the parents are now seeking help from alternative medicine. There is no other choice!

The story is mind boggling! And this insane situation has been going on for over two years!

The young lady is now an invalid. This should never have been the case!

Waylon said...

With a state run medicare system that is designed never to generate a profit, all services provided are expenses on the system. The largest portion of revenue is provided by taxation, and as should become evident government bureaucracy is the least efficient and most wasteful way to administer anything. When it comes to a huge and necessary service like health care being handed over to the government to administer only idiotic rules will grow and become more and more absurd. The health care system in Canada is basically broken and the first services cut when expenses run through the roof are the front line health care providers such as nurses, certain other hands-on health care providers, while what remains are the idiotic goof balls of the bureaucratic establishment.

The onus should be on those proposing the establishment of a huge inefficient bureaucracy to provide definitive examples and proof from other places that have gone through exactly what is being imposed on America.

There was an old saying that those that are too useless to work anywhere else work for the government. You don't need to dig too deeply to know that wisdom is absolutely true.

Jack Whyte said...

I agree with FT … there are no guarantees in life; every one of us must take our chances. Some of us are blessed with a long life; others are blessed with a shorter life. It is the natural order of things … it is, as it should be. It is not the right of government to change this relationship.

Anonymous said...

This sad case has nothing to do with ObamaCare; yet it demonstrates why government should never be in the health care business. Common sense is the answer.

Z said...

FT....your remark about people forcing others to give up organs for transplant is chilling and one we would have laughed at five years ago.
Not anymore, right?

Ducky's here said...

As I read it she was on the list but near the bottom since children generally fare poorly when given this procedure.
Cold reasoning but necessary since there aren't sufficient donors.

The standard is not capricious and this is truly an example of an activist judge.
Which way do you want it, folks?

Anonymous said...


"Tonight's a dinner for 175.."

Feeding an IRS convention,eh?

Sam Huntington said...

In this case, I have to agree with Ducky. Yesterday, I listened to conservatives pretend astonishment that Sebelius would allow this child to die. These people are idiots. On the one hand, they reject Obama Care (and I agree with this), but then when a child is affected, they want the government to make a “death panel” decision. Ducky asks the right question: which way do you want it?

Even a superficial examination of the federal bureaucracy should convince the slowest among us that the Feds are the last people on earth we want making life or death decisions.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the Terri Schiavo case.

He won, she died.

Waylon said...

The article does sound heartless with a health care czarina appointed to decide who receives which health care service. Under this type of system how else can it be operated. I realize that the idea of "Death Panels" might have scared the bejesus out of most people, but this really is the only alternative when the profit motive and capitalism have been demonized over the decades by the advance of the new tyrants under the banner of "Progress". It isn't progress but a regression to a dark age long past where the overlords with self-appointed authority to decide who lives, who dies and when—pretty much as envisioned by the Communist Manifesto and the Fabian Socialists (the gradualists on the road to tyranny).

Ducky's here said...

Imp, in what way is this similar to Schiavo?

The only similarity I can see is that both have allowed medical science to be trumped by the entertainment media.

In Schiavo's case she was clinically dead and when they opened her skull it was full of fluid as expected.

In this case the medical decision is being made by the bookers on the freaking morning show and as a result the procedure may be denied to someone more likely to benefit.

The only similarity I can see is in both cases, probably, the great minds of our time like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin will be playing to emotions with some nonsense about death panels.

Remember, the left is here to help you lead the life of the mind.

Mustang said...

Remember, the left is here to help you lead the life of the mind.

Exactly so, and also recall that we have to pass the bill before we can, uh ... understand what's in there.


Anonymous said...


"Imp, in what way is this similar to Schiavo?"

Exactly...just the governments involvement in a highly charged emotional topic....medical care. Who denies it, who gets it and who deserves it.

Thersites said...

A judge has already solved this bureaucratic problem.

If you are rich enough to afford a lawyer, you can get anything in this country.

Robert Sinclair said...

The problem isn't solved when conservative revile Sebelius for doing what conservatives have argued against all along.

Are we that stupid in this country?

Louis H. said...

I think Sebeleus made the right decision.

Z said...

Robert just nailed exactly what Mustang was saying with this post...

Bravo, Monsieur Sinclair...

(oui, Louis...encore, tu as raison)

Z said...

Robert just nailed exactly what Mustang was saying with this post...

Bravo, Monsieur Sinclair...

(oui, Louis...encore, tu as raison)

Anonymous said...

@Robert Sinclair:

You really didn't know the answer to that?
/sarc on

WomanHonorThyself said...

hey Z..hope the dinner was a huge success!!:)

Z said...

Woman, thanks!
it's TONIIIIGGHHHT! If you could only see the gorgeous gym~! :-)
17 tables for 10 in black table cloths, white chairs...half have two dozen red roses as centerpieces, the other part has a silver/white/black mylar balloon sitting in a kind of cardbook 'frame' of those colors, too, and Congrats! and 2013 is written on them....3 votives on each table; I have to admit everybody loves how it looks; I'm VERY pleased.
In half an hour 8 or so parent volunteers come to help (junior parents work at the senior dinner traditionally) ..I had 5 moms set the tables in 1 hr and 15 minutes....AMAZING good help.
You should see what 19 doz red roses looks like! :-)
You can't tell I'm excited, right? :)
Food comes at 5:45. I can't wait till midnight...lying in my bed thinking about what a success tonight was!

FreeThinke said...

Z, I hope you take some PICTURES before the guests get in there and mess it all up. If you do, PLEASE put some on display HERE. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wold love to see what you accomplished.

Big responsiblity! WOW! At this point I'd probably have a heart attack just trying to plan it right and get it all done on time.

Hope you ENJOY it once it starts.

Kid said...

This evil is Just getting started.

Z said...

FT...I just went into the kitchen where my volunteers were WASHING the plastic thin crappy bowls the salads were tossed in before being put in china. And they washed the plastic tops of the plastic trays the desserts were delivered in. ??????

I just walked out :-)

Like there isn't enough to do? But, whatever!~!!! (I'll be ashamed throwing them in large trash bags later!!)

It's all gone well...I just snuck away because my foot is KILLING ME! (tendon problem) and I've been here 12 hours now and I'm tired!
But, what a lovely evening..the kids are talking, the parents are the podium; all telling about how much this school has meant to them.
I got such a hug from the most shy and retiring young man in school (and a BRAIN and a Mexican immigrant, by the way) and had to leave and cry at my desk!

I can't take the seniors leaving!

Always On Watch said...

The homeschool group with which I work has three graduates this year. The ceremony is Saturday evening.

One of the grads, a girl, has been in my composition classes for nine years! I've known/taught the other three grads for 5 years.

I don't have to cook for the reception. Thank God! But I do have to deliver a speech at the podium. I think that I'll go with a combination of serious and funny -- and briefly, too. I can't stand long, rambling speeches that nobody remembers even the basic points of a few minutes after the speech ends.

Z said...

Always, have a wonderful time!

We had 175 last night so, obviously, I didn't cook, either!
I come up with the decor and menu and find the caterers with the best price, do the decorating myself, hire tables/chairs/plates/glasses, etc...

I'll send you pictures via email..

I almost fell apart last night when our Head Master opened up the evening and then asked all our seniors to get up and hug their folks and tell them how grateful they are, love them, etc...what a moment to see....then the brightest, sweetest, most shy/retiring kid, Arturo, left his family and made a beeline for me and gave me THE biggest hug. This kid barely smiles! But he knows I love him on some level. I had to leave the room for a few minutes to cry at my desk.
i'm going to miss those seniors...
I don't know how you do it!

FreeThinke said...

Glad it all turned out so well, Z. I knew it would.

You must be exhausted today, though, or aren't you?

Sometimes, the post-Event fatigue takes a while to set in -- especially after things go well.

I really look forward to getting those pictures. ;-)