Tag Archives: HHS

Where does the federal government get its authority to decide who lives and who dies?

Where does the Constitution grant the federal government the power to decide who lives and who dies?

TransplantI always thought that God reserved that right to himself, but I guess that I have been wrong for all of these years. Evidently, the Department of Health and Human Services is making life and death decisions as to who gets organ transports and who does not.

Yesterday, I became aware of this, for the first time, when a federal judge ruled that a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl in need of a lung transplant must be added to the list of adults who need organs. The judge ordered Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to suspend rules that limit the organs availability to children younger than 10. Congressional Republicans have been pressing Sebelius to intervene in the girl’s case since last week. Sebelius has declined, saying she would review the policies on transplants for children but that making a one-time exception for this girl would deny a transplant to another young child. Yesterday, Judge Michael Baylson ordered Sebelius to make an exception,. The girl is more likely to get a transplant in time to save her life because of the judge’s order.

When I heard of this case and the resulting decision, I was incredulous and immediately questioned who gave the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to decide on the life and death issues of who gets organ transplants. I quickly re-read the Constitution, but could not find a provision that gave the executive branch of the federal government the power to decide whether an individual, law abiding citizen lived or died. Perhaps God visited Ms. Sebelius in the middle of the night and appointed her his proxy on earth in these matters. I rather doubt that.

I fully understand that priorities must be established on a medical basis for determining who gets organ transplants. However, I do question why one partisan, federal bureaucrat has the power and the authority to suspend the rules set by medical community and make arbitrary decisions on who gets organ transplants and who does not.  And I further ask by what or on whose authority does this pseudo-god act.

Although all of the newscasts last night covered and applauded the Judge’s decision in this case, only Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano dared to pose the question – on what or on whose authority was the federal government, and specifically Ms. Sebelius, acting in making these life and death decisions. Clearly it was not as result of authority derived from the U.S. Constitution and I am equally sure that God did not authorize her to act in his stead. If it is neither by the Constitution’s nor on God’s authority, then under what authority is the federal government acting?

The Crusty Conservative

June 6,2013


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