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]