Organ transplants

Transplant Controversy Spurs Calls for a Market in Organs

Drop the bureaucracy and allow personal negotiations


HARRISBURG — Sarah Murnaghan won her chance to get a new lung.

After a week-long saga that involved U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Bob Casey, D-Pa., Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and a federal judge, the 10 year-old girl from Newtown Square, Pa., will receive the lung that she needs to continue her fight against cystic fibrosis.

It's a sad story, made all the sadder by the fact that Sarah's parents had to seek out political leaders and public officials to solve a health-care problem that exists, at least in large part, because of federal regulations regarding organ donations.

Some analysts say simple, market-oriented reforms for how the government handles organ donors and recipients would shorten the waiting list for new organs and give more patients a second chance at life.