Brain Dead Teen’s Family Can Move Her to New Facility

Jahi McMath, who a court ruled legally dead following a routine tonsillectomy, will be moved to a different facility

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McMath Family / AP

Jahi McMath

The family of brain dead teen Jahi McMath will be allowed to remove her from Children’s Hospital Oakland and take her to a different facility, according to an agreement reached Friday.

The compromise between the McMath family and the hospital, reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, is the latest chapter in the ongoing battle over Jahi’s care. McMath suffered a tragic hemorrhage and cardiac arrest following a routine tonsillectomy last month, and is currently living on a ventilator. The hospital insists that Jahi is technically deceased because she is brain dead, but the McMath family wants her treated as a live patient. The hospital had been scheduled to turn off the machines keeping Jahi alive on Jan. 7.

According to the agreement reached in Alameda County Superior Court, the McMath family can have Jahi moved on a ventilator, but Jahi’s mother must take full responsibility for any complications as she is moved, including the possibility that her heart will stop. The judge denied the family’s request that doctors insert a feeding tube or a tracheostomy on Jahi, and lawyers for the hospital said none of their doctors would be allowed to perform medical procedures on a deceased person.

The case won national attention this week as the family of Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman who died in 2005 after living in a vegetative state for 15 years, joined the McMath family’s fight for Jahi’s continued treatment.

An attorney for the family said that the agreement removes the obstacles the family had faced in getting Jahi moved, but did not reveal Jahi’s destination.

[San Francisco Chronicle]

19 comments
IceToes
IceToes

This is sad, but the parents need stop denying and let her go. It is unethical for any medical professional to be stringing them along. She's dead. She won't come back. I have to agree with Thoughtful below. "God's will" would be taking her off support and letting her go or, if they get a miracle, making a decision then. SOMEONE is paying for this and someone is encouraging this family in their delusion. These circumstances, while tragic, do not warrant spending any more money for her care.

vajudyh3
vajudyh3

A very sad case this is indeed.  It's just too difficult for the parents to let go of their daughter.  Prayers to all.

dbsheffield
dbsheffield

this is very sad case and is thought provoking... can someone tell us who is paying for her care during this process, the parents medical insurance plan?

Thoughtful
Thoughtful

I am a person of faith which to me means that you  take the girl off of all the machines and only then will you see what is God's will.  Right now it is man and not God keeping her "alive".  I am assuming that some type of insurance/benefits are paying to maintain this brain dead child.  If that is true, than this is one example of why healthcare and health insurance is so very expensive. Whether we like it or not, there are limited resources in this world and to spend them under these circumstances is beyond wasteful and unreasonable.

IraPastor
IraPastor

There are a few cases in the literature over the last several decades of supposed brain death reversal - mainly in infants and fetuses - none ever had positive long term outcome, but the papers do exists in PubMed if you look for them - and they are hotly contested amongst thought leaders - And do keep in mind, brain death diagnosis does not constitute zero cerebral activity as is commonly mentioned in the press - it is "no cerebral activity greater than 2 microvolts" - most thought leaders in the space acknowledge residual "nests" of neuronal activity and residual blood flow - just not enough to support an "integrated whole" - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19818943

motherof
motherof

keep fighting! She can't be in pain so there is nothing to lose by fighting for her! If she is dead her body will soon catch on to it too, if not a miracle may wake her up, as it has for others in her situation.

AnushkaLovell
AnushkaLovell

May GOD guide your family in this situation. GOD is in control and We are praying that this matter is resolved and you find the peace that you deserve little girl. I know that GOD will do what is best, even in our trials. We may not understand what went wrong between now and your surgeries but I do know thi matters will be resolved in the next few days and if you are departing this world, You are going to a much better place, in the arms of GOD.

howard04
howard04

The girl is dead.  Let her go

jcq707
jcq707

If this happens to my son I would be the first one to let him go, The same I would want for me, Let Jahi be free at last !! 

JennyGreen
JennyGreen

Who is paying for all this?!   The girl is dead.  Let her go, family of delusion.   

motherof
motherof

@howard04 Why would you say that? He fought for the life of his sister! Some people think he is a hero!

motherof
motherof

@howard04 She not in any pain, so why not hold on a little longer and see what happens?


DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@JennyGreen As long as the family is covering all the expenses, I'm fine with it.

Given the legalities, the government won't pay, because it won't pay for medical care for a dead person.  Nor will insurance, for the same reason.  The girl has been declared legally dead.  Technically, doing any medical procedure at this point is considered "abuse of corpse".

I'm surprised they found anyone to maintain the body.  It's a legal/ethical nightmare to do it.  The real sad part is that by the time her heart stops, the rest of her organs may be too wasted or atrophied to give the gift of life to someone else.

howard04
howard04

Who is paying for all this?!

BRUCESWIFE1969
BRUCESWIFE1969

@howard04

. She was a vibrant/happy young lady, when she walked into  the hospital .The  problem/mistakes took place on their watch. The hospital and surgical team should pay the bill.

Howard, it will be interesting to see how it pans out. I lost my only child in '93.  I can only imagine what her family is going through.

Just for a moment...try and put yourself in their shoes. If you don't have children you won't understand. God Bless you.

   

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