Skip to comments.Judge Grants Request From Jahi McMath’s Family to Extend Life Support
Posted on 12/30/2013 4:47:11 PM PST by Morgana
The judge who is adjudicating the case of the family of the teenage girl in California who is the subject of a national debate over whether a hospital has the right to yank life support has granted an extension.
A county judge extended the order for the hospital to keep Jahi McMath on life support until 5 p.m. on January 7. Her mother and family say she is alive.
Jahis family has a door-to-door ambulance flight contracted to take her to a New York facility that will care for her.
The family has located a licensed facility in the state of New York which has agreed to take Jahi, Jahis uncle, Omari Sealey, said Monday afternoon, only about an hour before an Alameda County judges order keeping the girl on a ventilator was set to expire. We have contracted with an air ambulance willing to take her from door to door. We have a doctor here in California who will be with her throughout the transfer.
Sealey said Jahi has been responsive to her mothers voice.
Jahi is moving when her mother speaks, he said. We have video our attorneys have just produced it to the hospitals attorney. We have a pediatrician who has seen Jahi who has sworn that she is not dead. We are hopeful that one of these (legal) actions will forestall the hospitals rush to extinguish Jahis chance at life.
Meanwhile, just three hours before the deadline, the girls grandmother, Sandra Chapman spoke to the media and suggested Jahi was moving her body, saying there was leg and body movement as well as response to touch and voice.
I know ones [an alternative care facility] gonna come through. I know it. I feel it. Jahis moving. If shes moving, the doctor should pay attention to that, she said.
Jahi McMaths family had found a new care facility that will continue her medical care and treatment. But the hospital she is at now wont cooperate to move her.
A judge had ruled that a hospital in Oakland, California can remove life support from Jahi McMath, 13, who has been declared brain-dead days after undergoing surgery to have her tonsils removed. Her family is already devastated enough but has had to fight the hospital, which wanted to take her off life support against their wishes.
On Thursday, the lawyer for the family, Christopher Dolan, asked Childrens Hospital of Oakland to cooperate by performing a few procedures needed to move Jahi McMath. The hospital said no.
The Los Angeles-area long-term care facility that had been willing to accept Jahi has withdrawn its offer, leaving a New York hospital as the only apparent option for. That is happening as a deadline of 5 p.m. today reaches, whereby the hospital will officially cut offer her life support.
I just found out that the facility my daughter was supposed to be going to has backed out! Childrens hospital has once again interfered with the placement of my daughter we still have a chance at 1 more facility so let us all pray, family member Latasha Nailah Winkfield said.
The San Jose newspaper has more on this teenagers case:
I just found out that the facility my daughter was supposed to be going to has backed out, Jahis mother, Nailah Winkfield, wrote on the familys fundraising website early Sunday. My family and I are still striving to find a location that will accept her in her current condition.
That leaves an unnamed New York hospital as our last, last hope, Jahis lawyer, Christopher Dolan, said. The facility is run by an organization that believes in life, Dolan told The Associated Press.
But in a statement issued Sunday, a spokeswoman for Childrens Hospital Oakland said its doctors said no one from any other medical organization has been in contact with it to discuss a transfer of the 13-year-old.
Our physicians have yet to receive a single call or message from the facility under consideration, Cynthia Chiarappa wrote. We have been waiting since Friday when we were first told by the family lawyer of a potential facility that might accept the body of Jahi for a call from a physician to discuss with our medical staff what may be necessary to transfer the deceased.
Dolan said the unnamed Los Angeles-area facility withdrew its offer because it didnt want media attention or to jeopardize its relationship with its doctors, who refused to treat someone whos been declared brain dead.
As Jahis family prepared for a Sunday afternoon fundraiser at an Oakland church to help pay for a possible airlift, it remained unclear what will happen in the hours ahead.
Doctors at Childrens Hospital have refused to perform a tracheotomy for breathing and insert a gastric tube for feeding, procedures that are needed in order to transfer Jahi, saying it is unethical to perform surgery on a deceased person.
Jahis family is raising funds for her support. You can help by going to www.gofundme.com/jahi-mcmath
Jahi arrived at the hospital on a Monday and was supposed to be released Tuesday, the family said. A member of Jahis family , a veteran nurse at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, noticed her granddaughter was bleeding from her mouth and nose. She later went into cardiac arrest. Jahi spent Tuesday on a ventilator. By 2 a.m. Wednesday, doctors said she had swelling in her brain, and Thursday, she was declared legally brain-dead, family members said.
Judge Evelio Grillo ruled that Jahi must be kept on the breathing machine until at least 5 p.m. December 30. The verdict came after hearing testimony from two doctors, one an independent expert appointed by the judge on Monday and the other a 30-year veteran of the hospital. Both testified that the teen is brain-dead and that her body is alive only because of a ventilator hooked up to her since December 12.
The family has appealed the decision but pro-life attorney Wesley Smith said it is unlikely they will prevail.
The judge gave the family, still fighting the determination, until Monday to appeal or adjust to the tragic reality, he said. I hope the family spends the remaining time loving Jahi and making preparations, as there is zero chance in my view that the courts ruling will be overturned on appeal. If a miracle is to happen, it will have to be when the breathing assistance is removed. People who are brain dead have no ability to breathe on their own.
Its also a shame the hospital has handled the tragedy so maladroitly. I was speaking about this to a former pediatric nurse who used to work in Childrens Hospital Oaklands ICU. She said the facility has a real calling to serving the African-American community, and this has hurt trust. Thats why I was upset to hear a hospital spokesman say he was gratified that the court validated the hospitals diagnosis, Smith continued. No, the proper and decent thing would have been to say that they were sorry the original diagnosis was affirmed. Good grief.
there are no good guys nor bad guys here.....I don't blame the parents for being completely blind to the fact that their child has passed, and I certainly don't blame the medical community for wanting this debacle to end peacefully, at the child's pace, which would happen when all the machines are turned off....
we are not God....we can not make everyone live a full life....we do not have the power....
I’m familiar with all that. And if that is *really* the case there is no hope.
I’m also familiar with newspaper reporters who report information that is incorrect and with surgeons who may make value judgements about who is actually brain dead.
Isn’t it interesting that there are so many people who have very alive functioning organs but their brain is totally supposedly dead.
I agree with your sentiments entirely. Keeping a body “alive” like this is just ghoulish. This is a very different situation than a person in a coma, for example.
“Isnt it interesting that there are so many people who have very alive functioning organs but their brain is totally supposedly dead.”
You mean, like those people who pull the (D) lever in the voting booth every two years?
Oh I am pretty sure the family is NOT paying the hospital bills. The insurance would have paid for the operation. If the family is using mediCal then the taxpayer is footing the bill.
It is the hospitals business because this tragic case emphasizes that not every person can be maintained on a ventilator. There are limited resources available to any hospital. I feel so sorry for the parents of this young girl but she is long gone from this world. I hope that they can come to some resolution with out driving themselves crazy
“And this is part of the problem. Everyone is filling this family up with false hope, with anecdotes of loved ones who miraculously pulled through. But these tales were of people who weren’t brain dead! This girl’s brain is quickly turning into putrefied jelly. She is NOT coming back.”
This is certainly true, and this exact situation probably happens hundreds of times a day in this country, with no controversy, medical or spiritual, and the machines are turned off. What made this exceptional was the apparent health of the person before the operation and their age.
“If the family was not paying the bills, have no standing in the courtroom.”
and just where did you get your law degree??? This is a minor child and the parents therefore have standing. The hospital is acting in loco parentis and that is what is being argued in court
“Furthermore, the mother thinks that her daughter is living.”
I am glad the mother has feelings they have nothing to do with reality and facts.
“Do you want to live in a country where an elected judge decides if youre dead or alive?”
The judge is making no such decision. You have your panties in a twist over an issue that is traumatic and painful for the family. Doctor’s are not God. They make the decisions they make based on the best evidence available to them. Turn the ventilator off and see if this young girl can breathe. If she doesn’t then her brain is not working and she truly is not just brain dead but dead dead.
Always dangerous to paint every situation with your painful experiences from the past.
You are making statements that are all too broad and over generalized and frankly they are out and out lies. IF this story had happened in China then maybe I would agree with you. This child has been brain dead long enough and on a ventilator to make any of her organs useless in a transplant. Your ignorance is only superseded by your pain
so glad that you are so well medically trained. no doubt you will hang out your shingle to help all the rest of us not so specially educated and yes that is sarcasm
True words. It frustrates me no end when folks who ‘looked’ something up on the internet think that they know better than the docs. The mom keeps using terms like ‘her shoulders move’. Well heck yeah the girl is on a ventilator of course her shoulders move.
Too often these folks have a good heart but NO real knowledge of how the human body works.
Doesn’t matter about other countries . California has a state law that specifies what is considered the standard for declaring a person brain dead
The hospital pr person is doing a horrible job at showing compassion & caring I heard an interview on the radio of him so callous.
Women in Quebec and Australia have also recovered after being declared brain dead. The criteria do not seem to be infallible.
And if brain tissue actually flowed out the nose, bacteria from the nose would colonize the brain, and the patient would be all the way dead in short order.
Indeed, I'm sure the costs of life support begin to skyrocket when the "patient" is actually deceased.
This story is quickly devolving from tragic and sad to macabre and creepy.
What makes you sure the family is paying the bill? Seems highly unlikely to me.
California law makers made the determination? LOL
The Board of Medical Quality Assurance . since you practice under a license in California they set what is considered standard practice
Doesn’t it concern you that the states and countries have different criteria for what is considered brain dead?
I don’t want some politicians in the state capital deciding what is dead enough to take my organs.
The only way a doctor is allowed to ‘take your organs’ is if YOU have signed a donor request. If you haven’t they can’t.
I get tired of all the bashing of the medical community that goes on . even O claimed things that are NOT true and would cost a doc their license if it occurred.
The government through Ocare has already put into place panels that will decide who lives and dies. That is where our efforts should be.