Transplant vote seeks medical and legal balance

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Faced with a federal judge’s order in the heart-wrenching cases of two terminally ill children seeking lung transplants, a national review board is searching for a balance that will keep such decisions in the hands of doctors, not lawyers or judges.

The executive committee of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network held an emergency teleconference Monday evening and resisted making rule changes for children under 12 seeking lung transplants — but created a special appeal and review system to hear such cases.

New York University bioethicist Dr. Arthur Caplan says the vote shows that the medical profession doesn’t believe that they should be pressured into making hasty changes to the entire national transplant system based on a single case.

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