Judge's rulings challenge US transplant policies

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Who gets the next donated organ is a life or death matter, and now a judge is allowing two dying children in Pennsylvania to essentially jump the line. It's an unprecedented challenge to the nation's transplant system that specialists say raises serious questions of fairness.

Georgetown University law professor Lawrence O. Gostin calls the rulings a first, with no apparent legal basis. He says transplant policies are designed to be fair for everyone, not just, in his words, "the one heart-wrenching case."

The ruling allows a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy to be placed on the adult waiting list for a new set of lungs. Currently, children under 12 are matched with pediatric donors, which are rare, or get offered adult lungs only as a last option.