With Sebelius One-On-One - New York News

With Sebelius One-On-One

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WASHINGTON -

The Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, stopped to talk to Fox 29's Jeff Cole today about Sarah Murnaghan--the 10-year-old little girl in a life and death struggle with end stage Cystic Fibrosis.

When asked to give her opinion on Sarah, Sebelius said, "Well, there is no more agonizing situation than a dying child or any seriously ill person when there are too many ill people and not enough organs."

Sebelius had come to the Capitol Hill for a budget hearing, but received pointed questions from members urging her to drop the rule which bars children under 12 from receiving adult transplant organ.

According to Sebelius, "This protocol about the delineation between children and adults has been in place since 2005. It's updated regularly. I've asked them to take another look at it, but I think that I would defer to the scientists and to the organ experts in this instance."

Under pressure from the Murnaghan's family and elected officials from both parties, the Secretary has ordered a review of the rules. But she stopped short of allowing the transplant to go forward.

In a one on one interview with Fox 29, Sebelius gave no sign she'd budge to any pressure

"I can ask that the policy be reviewed," she said, "where the committee goes through a process which includes public comment. As you can imagine I can't imagine anything worse than one individual getting to pick who lives and who dies."

Pressure on Sebelius came from both sides of the aisle from Democrats and Republicans, but today she raised the issue of whether she even has the power to change the transplant rules.

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