Ancient mammoth blood gives new life to de-extinction project

Xavier Symons
8 Jun 2013
Reproduced with Permission

Murnaghan's family - and many bioethics lobby groups - have for weeks been petitioning US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius to waive the rule for Sarah. Sibelius believes that it would be wrong to change the policy so rashly for one patient. She said that that transplant experts believed the procedure to be extremely risky, and that the policy should not be revised without a proper HHS review.

Bioethicist Authur Caplan said that it is troubling, and perhaps precedent-setting, for a judge to overrule that medical judgment, and predicted a run to the courthouse by patients who don't like their place on the waiting list. "I'm not sure I want judges or congressmen or bureaucrats trying to decide what to do with organs at the bedside," Caplan said.

At the hearing, Dr Samuel Goldfarb, one of the girl's doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the head of its heart and lung transplantation programs, testified that she was critically ill and had worsened in the past 24 hours. A machine has helped her breathe since she entered the hospital about three months ago, and she will probably need more invasive assistance within a week. Without new lungs, she would probably die within weeks. He said that 12 was an "arbitrary" age for the change in policy.