Sarah's family "did have a legitimate complaint" about the rule that limited her access to adult lungs, said medical ethicist Arthur Caplan, of the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.
"When the transplant community met, they didn't want to change that rule without really thinking carefully about it," he said. The appeals process that was established this week, he said, was "built on evidence, not on influence."
He added: "In general, the road to a transplant is still to let the system decide who will do best with scarce, lifesaving organs. And it's important that people understand that money, visibility, being photogenic ... are factors that have to be kept to a minimum if we're going to get the best use out of the scarce supply of donated cadaver organs."