A judge has intervened in the case of a second child looking to be moved to the adult transplant list for a new lung. Eleven-year-old Javier Acosta was moved to the list temporarily. The same judge on Wednesday ordered that 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan temporarily be put on the adult list as well. U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson wrote a scathing ruling calling the current transplant policy discriminatory.
Under current policy, patients under the age of 12 are not eligible for adult lung donation, even though a majority of donor lungs come from adults. In the wake of these rulings, the transplant oversight board is reviewing its policy and could reverse course next week. But the cases raises ethical questions about who should make life and death medical decisions and how these policies should be decided.
The attorney for both families, Stephen Harvey, appeared on Jansing & Co. to talk about the issue. He refuted the argument that the success rate for children getting adult lungs is not as great as an adult receiving an adult lung.
“This type of surgery can be done using a lung from an adult. It can be done very safely. There’s a reason why it hasn’t been done a lot and that’s because there are not that many pediatric lung transplants,” Harvey said.
Watch the full interview with Steven Harvey and bioethicist Art Caplan below: