Skip to comments.Teen ordered off life support; family can appeal
Posted on 12/24/2013 3:34:25 PM PST by ColdOne
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) A judge on Tuesday ordered that a 13-year-old Northern California girl declared brain dead after suffering complications following a tonsillectomy be taken off life support.
But Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo gave Jahi McMath's family until 5 p.m. Dec. 30 to file an appeal. She will stay on life support until then.
Grillo issued the order after a Stanford doctor testified that Jahi is brain dead. Dr. Paul Graham Fisher's evaluation was the second to reach that conclusion.
Children's Hospital of Oakland, where Jahi is hospitalized, has asked that the girl be taken off life support after doctors there also concluded she was brain dead.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...
I was talking to the owner of a large funeral home in Norfolk around 1982. I casually asked if he ever had anyone come back to life.
He replied that they had one just the week before. They called an ambulance which took him to the hospital where he lived a few days before dying again.
Who is paying for continuing this life support when she is brain dead?!
Just because there exists the technical ability to force a dead body to breathe, doesn’t mean dead people should be kept alive indefinitely.
It’s a complex issue - modern technology has considerably blurred the line between life and death - so who makes the choice and based on what criteria? On the other hand, keeping those life-saving machines occupied by someone who has entered an irreversible state will end up causing others who might need the machines more, to have to wait longer, increasing their odds of entering a “vegetative” state themselves.
"What are you doing? Were you pulling the plug on me?"
It is a sad situation.
Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to bring the brain back to life once it has become dead tissue. This case is *not* like the Terri Schindler case, where her brain was damaged but she was still alive and aware. Nor is it comparable to a coma case, where the person cannot move or react, but is alive and may be conscious (in some cases).
First the hospital causes this to happen, now they want this child dead so they can get the bed..sickening..this is what a death panel looks like
Please provide some evidence.
This is quite different from the situation of a person like Terri Schiavo, who was not brain dead, and not even dying --- no, not even "terminal" --- when they removed her nutrition and hydration. In her case, even though she was breathing on her own and responsive, her husband Michael wanted her gone, for whatever reason of weariness, confused compassion or personal interest (she did have assets he would inherit) --- and when at last she died, she did not die of her "underlying condition," she died of hunger and thirst: starvation and dehydration. That, my friends, was murder.
In the pathetic situation reported on this thread, death has occurred without any hurry-up from powerful others. Burying the dead is also a Work of Mercy.
That is.... if what was reported is true.
She walked in and will be carried out?
Thank you for reminding me of the Terri Schiavo tragedy. I had not forgotten her but I did need a reminder. That was murder.
I was in an induced coma and you are right. I could hear; but not move or react. They couldn’t wake me up for a while; but my husband came in and said he was going to do the dishes. LOL I woke up and said “fat chance”. It’s a hard one. Also, when I was having seizures, I could talk and answer questions as wierd as that sounds.
Having your tonsils removed is a routine procedure. You aren’t supposed to die.
Morbidity other than minor post-surgical infection is uncommon. About one in every 15,000 tonsillectomies ends in death, either from the anesthesia or bleeding five to seven days after the operation.
If as reported she is brain dead I agree with you. She is dead.
My heart breaks for her mother. I hope the hospital offered he more than “she’s brain dead and we are taking her off life support.”
It has happened occasionally that “brain dead” people have woken up.
They make mistakes in hospitals too.
Frankly, most of these cases are DOA.
However, knew a young man who overdosed and was brain dead. Also his lungs were giving out after a week plus on vent...glass lung syndrome. The docs were going to turn him off on Friday, but since Sunday was Mother’s Day and he was his mother’s only child, they decided to wait until Monday. He woke up Saturday.
How was he? Ok, Some memory loss, some processing complications. Never finished his doctorate, working the convenience store life. A learning lesson for my children.
No they shouldn't be kept "alive" in perpetuity, but at least let her parents get past Christmas instead of having the ghouls in organ donation drooling over her heart, liver kidneys and eyes.
There is going to be a lawsuit. A dead person about 1/10 of a live person who needs continous care.
That is a fact.
Sh!t happens. Read the pre-op disclosures...death is listed as a possible result of the simplest surgery. Sometimes even the best efforts by humans cannot evade the grime reaper. When called in by the Big Guy, human efforts to save a life never win. That’s Life as well as Death.
Excellent book, decent movie. It was the first Robin Cook I ever read, and I’ve read every one since.
Death occurs in 1 in 15,000 tonsillectomies. Doesn’t that tell you that even the most simple of surgeries can result in death? No surgery is routine regardless of the simplicity. Complications, including death, can and does result in any surgical procedure to patients every day.
I just went back and looked at the medical facts of this case and there is nothing there to support the “Aware” part of your comment. The facts support that she was in a long term persistent vegetative state and could never have recovered no matter what therapy she had. Her parents made many claims but not one of them was ever supported by any medical facts. The conclusions from the autopsy supported her husbands statements not her parents.
The surgery wasn’t a routine tonsillectomy. The child was obese; the surgery was in part designed to address her severe sleep apnea. So it was complicated. Complicated surgeries often result in less than desired outcomes. Whether or not the hospital or any medical professional was negligent remains to be determined.
I had carpal tunnel surgery in my right hand. 20 minute operation. Local anesthesia. The doctor made the incision and all hell broke loose. Seems I wasn’t numb and felt the scalpel cut as if I had sliced my hand with a utility knife at work. Went into full blown shock.
They rushed an anesthesiologist into the operating room who then administered atropine into my vein, counteracting the shock. The tube containing the atropine was about the size of a typical home flashlight. I soaked the table that I laid upon, myself, and the gown I wore as well, due to breaking into a full blown body sweat. I lost control of my ability to breath and instantly became overwhelmed with panic/fear due to loss of said function(s).
The nurse patted me on the head as they rolled me into the recovery room, mentioning something about almost losing me. It was basically incompetence on behalf of the doctor who neither tested me for numbness, nor waited long enough for the effect of the anesthesia to take, or failed to administer sufficient anesthesia in the first place. I was pissed plenty when I realized what happened and how close I came to buying the farm.
Minor surgery... just saying.
I would not trust the slimes if I where you. There are youtube videos of terry responding to her parents.
Fortunately for lawyers, there is a zero defect expectation for every service provided in the United States.
Unfortunately for doctors, there are few zero defect patients.
This young child was not the picture of health and I am sure the insurance companies and their attorneys are already deciding how many zero’s go on the check. Regardless of my skepticism, it is a heartbreaking story and I am sorry for the family and the medical staff involved. Life happens and any time you go under anesthesia there is a risk made worse if you are in poor health to start with. The plaintiffs attorney will make it sound like the most negligent operation in the world when the reality is that nobody at that hospital went to work that day intending for this to happen.
She was not, however, terminal. She was not dying. She was not in pain. And she was breathing on her own. She was also able to benefit from nutrition and hydration,using food and fluids successfully for the same thing you and I use them for: to keep on living.
That's why they had to MAKE her die by removing her nutrition and fluids. Nobody can survive that. Thereupon, this healthy but very disabled young woman died of starvation/dehydration: died the same --- if they had removed our food and water --- as you and I would have done.
It is not medically ethical to kill disabled men and women by intentionally starving them. Period.
And, PS, the New York Times was biased as hell. Does that surprise you?
I would expect severe tissue damage to be seen in an autopsy performed after two weeks (or however long it took) of severe dehydration and starvation which would not have been present while she was fed, hydrated, and healthy. I don’t consider the condition of her brain after such abuse to be reflective of its condition prior to commencement of the murder process. On a side note, you have to be careful when using the NYT as a source, especially on a life issue where that newspaper has editorial policies against anything supporting the right to life.
There were videos that showed her being aware and responsive. The question was not whether she would recover—it was clear to everyone that the Terri who existed prior to the accident would *not* return. What was at stake was her right to live despite the fact that she would never regain her former level of cognition.
Newer technologies are able to directly measure the level of awareness in so-called vegetative or comatose patients. As it turns out, many of them are much more aware than their limited ability to interact with the world would indicate.
It was clear at the time that her husband wanted her dead and was willing to go to any length to achieve that (short of holding a pillow over her face himself). There is a special place in hell for him and the legal team that accommodated him.
I believe three doctors have declared her brain dead..when the brain no longer functions she is no longer there but by the grace of a machine pumping air into her body.
I'm surprise by your comment.
Something went wrong that caused this to happen..a healthy 13 year old girl going for a routine procedure doesn’t wake up, start vomiting blood, and then dies..someone screwed up here..this poor child is obviously brain dead but the hospital is in a huge rush to remove her from the machines..give the family time to grieve they were not expecting this when they took her to the hospital for this procedure
IT was contested but several specialists reviewed her case and examined her over the several years this case was in the court system. They reached the same conclusion. That conclusion was that she was in a vegetative state with no hope of recovery.
This case, medical and court case, was reviewed repeatedly over several years. The medical facts in every case that definitive tests could be conducted supported the husband's contentions. The docs found this and so did the judges. The court case only stopped when her family ran out of appeals.
When her parents made totally unsupported claims of him attacking her and or poisoning her they lost all credibility. There was never anything to support this in the examinations before her death or the autopsy conducted after her death.
It was the husbands place to make this decision and his alone. This is what the courts at many ascending levels found as fact.
I believe that her parents and some care givers who had become attached to her saw what they wanted to see.
There is no decision in this that was right for everyone. Teri had made her position clear on this situation to her husband. He made the decision according to her wishes. If I am ever in her position I want my wife to have the courage to follow my wishes.
I argue this on facts and findings. Others approach this as purely a moral issue. We will never agree.
“I hope the hospital offered he more than shes brain dead and we are taking her off life support.”
I hope that they didn’t send the bill for the tonsillectomy yet with the obligatory “pay within four hours of receipt or bill will be presented for collection” red stamp.
This is a sad story, but this sort of thing can and does happen. ANY surgery is risky - some more so than others.
The media has taken a family tragedy and turned it into a circus. just like they do most stories.
something tells me the family will make this a Trevon story
we'll see in another week or so..
wishing all freepers a Merry Christmas.
I guess with any surgery, no matter how big or how small, complications can develop. I feel sorry for the family, losing their daughter like this, its horrible no matter what happens
Merry Christmas to you too..God Bless
Very interesting on many levels. A prayer and a Merry Christmas for Jahi, her family, her friends.
None of the doctors on whose judgment the court relied ever saw Terri Schiavo. None. They examined brain scans and other diagnostic materials which did not add up to a full clinical diagnosis, because they did not involve personal contact with or observation of the patient.
Repeated appeals and reviews resulted in the same conclusions because they were merely reiterating the same opinions on the same brain scans. At no time did they admit other, more relevant diagnostic criteria.
Moreover--- and this is actually the most important point--- Terri's brain scans and her measurable responsiveness, or awareness, or lack thereof, don't actually matter from a moral or legal standpoint: because it is morally wrong, a medical ethical violation, and, in the State of Florida, a specific crime under law, to intentionally deprive a dependent person of food or water, no matter what the person's level of disability.
Michael Schiavo's role as his wife's medical proxy/guardian ought to have been terminated when:
I don't know whether claims made about Terri's husband by Terri's parents were out of line, and if they lied, that's libel. Michael Schiavo himself never, to my knowledge, charged them with libel, so that's not directly relevant to the present discussion.
Putting that to the side, Terri's mother's and father's intentions to secure basic, decent ordinary care (food and water) and prevent their daughter's premature death are not bias; they demonstrate the only legitimate attitude of medical guardianship.
Good 2013 retrospective here: Still Troubled (Link)
Anything can result in death. The question is was the hospital at fault? Many times they are.
Thank you for that reply. You provided an excellent summary of a case that should have never unfolded the way it did.
There is absolutely no reason that Terri should not be alive and happy in her family’s care today.
I’d love to be able to read the chart to get the full picture.
has more details than I have read so far. At first I thought the only details were those of a distraught mother. Jahi’s grandmother, a nurse herself, seems to give a fact based version of events.
My heart breaks for this family.
ObamaCare death panels circumvent the court system. In the case of this girl, an appeal is allowed via the judicial system. With ObamaCare, one does not have that option.