U.S. District Court Judge Michael Baylson told Kathleen Sebelius to direct the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, or OPTN, to make an exception to the so-called “Under-12” rule as it applies to Sarah Murnaghan, who has end-stage cystic fibrosis, for at least 10 days, until a hearing on June 14. That move means that the girl can be considered more quickly for organs as an adult, instead of being limited to the pediatric transplant list.
The ruling, which grants a temporary restraining order, applies only to Sarah, although Baylson indicated that he would consider a similar move for another child in Sarah’s circumstances, if a family presented the case in court.
“For us, this means that for the next 10 days, Sarah’s placement in the queue for adult lungs will be based on the severity of her illness, and she will not be penalized for her age,” parents Janet and Francis Murnaghan said in a statement. “We are experiencing many emotions: relief, happiness, gratitude, and, for the first time in months: hope.”