Skip to comments.Hospital won't aid transfer of girl on ventilator
Posted on 01/02/2014 1:08:18 PM PST by Anton.Rutter
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) A California hospital is unwilling to allow an outside doctor to fit a 13-year-old declared brain dead after tonsil surgery with the breathing and feeding tubes that would allow her to be safely transferred to another facility, its lawyer said Tuesday.
Children's Hospital Oakland will not permit the procedures to be performed on its premises because Jahi McMath is legally dead in the view of doctors who have examined her, lawyer Douglas Straus wrote in a letter to the girl's family.
"Performing medical procedures on the body of a deceased human being is simply not something Children's Hospital can do or ask its staff to assist in doing," he said.
The refusal appeared to reverse the position articulated Monday by a hospital spokesman. He said the hospital would allow a doctor retained by the family to insert a feeding tube and to replace the oral ventilator keeping Jahi's heart beating with a tracheal tube surgical procedures that would stabilize Jahi if she is moved to a facility willing to keep caring for her.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Jahi underwent a tonsillectomy and related procedures at Children's Hospital on Dec. 9 to treat sleep apnea. Her family said she went into cardiac arrest after she started coughing up blood in the recovery room.
She was declared brain dead three days later. The hospital then moved to take her off the machines that are keeping her heart and lungs going a few days before Christmas.
Is her father’s name “John Q”?
If they’re concerned about liability I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard for the lawyers to write up a binding waiver.
In all the stories I’ve read and all the TV coverage, the phrase “organ donor” never comes up.
Just say it’s part of her decision to get an abortion.
I guess they don’t want their asses sued off anymore than is necessarily going to happen anyway.
I really do not understand why the hospital is being so Obama-y (substitute word for sh*thead) about this. They are already in deep Obamastuff, and one would think they’d cooperate so as to reduce their upcoming settlement from $1 billion to half that.
That’s a hospital with a heart.
-The girl goes in the hospital for something routine, something goes wrong and they declare her brain dead and want to pull the plug.
-Family keeping hope want to keep her on life support longer so trying to move her and hospital seems to be making it as difficult as they can for them.
After all the body chemistries are normalized and the body itself is warm to the point that it looks physiologically normal, the patient is taken off the ventilator. This is called an apnea test. If in 10 minutes there is no respiratory effort, this confirms whole brain death. Additionally, there are reflex tests that ascertain if even the lowest and most primitive part of the brain are working. ICe water is shot into the ears, looking for a response of the eyes (ice calorimetrics).
If the brain does not trigger the most rudimentary of reflexes which is to say to provide oxygenation by breathing, the only think that is happening to this child is that he heart is being kept alive in some bizarre and sick popular play. No doubt the parents are seeking retribution and milking this for all they are worth.
This is absolutely no different than how an organ may be kept alive outside the body by oxygenating it, etc. but it is independent of the body. Sadly, this child is dead, and I support the hospital as a matter of ETHICS for not contributing to this facade any further.
“Her family, citing religious beliefs and the hope that she will pull through, wants to continue life support.”
That one sentence not only sums up the entire story but also defines America under Obama and only the second day of ObamaCare.
The family’s First Amendment Rights of Freedom of Religion are being denied and the girl has fallen victim to an ObamaCare Death Panel.
She’s dead. what do you want them to do?
Somebody help me out here. I thought oral ventilators simply kept the lungs functioning. Is there such thing as an oral ventilator that keeps the heart pumping?
The more of a pain in the @$$ the hospital officials are in this case, the more I am going to side with a generous punitive settlement when the wrongful death case comes to court.
The hospital didn’t do anything wrong. Good luck with that.
It is unethical to molest a dead body in every state int he union.
“If theyre concerned about liability Im sure it wouldnt be hard for the lawyers to write up a binding waiver.”
This is probably a macho urination contest more than perceived liability issue. But on the subject of waivers, courts have held that you can’t waive your right to sue.
But they’d be much better off ending this affair sooner rather than later. As their administrator, I’d assist the heck out of anybody who’d get her out of my hospital.
Somebody should have their ass kicked.
“amily keeping hope want to keep her on life support longer so trying to move her and hospital seems to be making it as difficult as they can for them.”
Hospital says they will cooperate when a plan is made and a destination willing to accept. So far there is no plan and no facility named to send the girl to.
Do you know if all those tests were done or is that simply standard procedure?
If her brain is dead, does the body absorb the dead tissue?
If she is brain dead, is it still possible for her to breathe without a ventilator?
Like probably most, I was initially outraged by the media stories. I have researched it to some extent, as you have, and I agree with you.
This is NOT Terri Schiavo redux. This little girl is not in a “permanent vegetative condition,” able to swallow, eye reflexes intact, etc. She is DEAD.
Sad but true. Short of a literal miracle of God, she isn’t coming back. Meanwhile, this cadaver is taking up an ICU bed that might save an actual living human being’s actual life.
What is the hospital trying to hide?
How did this “simple” procedure get F’d up?
Your bedside manner must be amazing.
The hospital hasn’t put her in the morgue yet.
Technicalities and all that. They can declare her dead but they aren’t treating the body that way.
I obviously have no way of knowing if you are a real doctor, or just play one on the internet -- but what you wrote is what I have been thinking for quite some time. If a person is truly brain dead and being kept alive by some machines that keep her breathing and her heart beating -- then it is time to admit that she is dead. This is different from the Shavio (sp?) case, who was truly brain damaged - but only needed the machines to swallow. Forcing her to die by starvation and dehydration, was wicked.
This young girl, on the other hand, just seems to have her dead body kept in a somewhat animated condition due to Media distortions of the facts. It is time to mourn, and move on.
You may or not be completely correct.
Yet what you wrote is beside the point.
How tragic. But it’s likely her sleep apnea was due to being overweight, and obese people generally have more risks than non-obese people.
I would imagine the liability issue was settled when she became brain dead/dead as per the opinion of docs at the hospital into whose care she was placed.
Yet Michelle Obama gets away with it all the time.
Jahi McMath isn’t there anymore...
It is an organism shaped like a previous person
Being kept alive by the unnecessary efforts of many
I’ve seen this all too many times...
3 doctors have said she is brain dead.
2 from the hospital and we can give latitude to those
that say they MIGHT have a conflict.
The third and INDEPENDENT Dr.Paul Graham Fisher,
a pediatric neuro-oncologist at Stanford School of Medicine,
backs their assessments.
Thank you Drango for this clarification
Generally, and in my experience...
One of the examining MDs should be
a Neurologist or Neurosurgeon as they have an elevated awareness of how to assess CNS function in the presence of mechanical supports.
Any Board Certified Neurologist or Neurosurgeon would
understand the complexity of thought
that goes into this...
1) No evidence of drug induced coma, hypothermia, or other reversable cause of coma.
2) No evidence of Cortical, Sub-cortical, or Brain stem activity by expert exam.
3) No spontaneous respiratory activity, in the absence of metabolic parameters that inhibit Brain stem activity.
Generally, great sensitivity is required to guide family
in understanding what Brain Death is.
Even persons with considerable understanding
struggle with seeing a loved one,
who appears alive, but is in fact no longer human.
But asking Nurses and Physicians
to continue aggressive care
causes an injury that is
difficult to explain to non-medical persons
That’s right. She’s dead by every reasonable test medical science considers indicative. I think the family’s lawyer is just prepping the jury pool with this disrespectful charade.
“If a person is truly brain dead and being kept alive by some machines that keep her breathing and her heart beating — then it is time to admit that she is dead”
Perhaps so. Perhaps not.
But who are you, or me, to decide.
Children’s is currently providing care that Children’s thinks should cease. Children’s has not yet ceased this care. Another medical institution has offered to continue care, thus allowing Children’s to cease their care.
Yet Children’s is actively, purposely obstructing this transfer of care to take place.
Can a heart beat on its own, unassisted, in a dead body, if other organs are mechanically maintained? From what I’ve read, she is on a feeding tube and a ventilator. Nothing else. Some reports claim the ventilator maintains the heart and lungs. Could you clear up this confusion for me?
Your analysis is ludicrous.
As for this:
Meanwhile, this cadaver is taking up an ICU bed that might save an actual living human beings actual life.
It is specious or disingenuous, at best, given that the hospital itself is obstructing moving the patient, thus choosing to take up the bed.
That is because they don’t want to give the lawyers any more ammo than they already have. Imagine how a judge issuing an injunction against taking her off the support, only to be told she’s already been sent to the morgue, would be taken by a jury in the inevitable civil proceedings surrounding her tonsillectomy.
Exactly. Reporting is so poor that no one reading reports can know what the actual situation is, despite the omniscient experts on this thread.
Knee jerk responses indicting the hospital are sad to see. You cannot keep giving million dollar treatments to a dead person. The fact that this person died after tonsillectomy does not automatically mean something was done erroneously.
Does every family who has a family a member die in a hospital deserve a billion, or only the ones that can get the media in on their story? Geez, and you wonder why Hospital costs are so high.
Jesus Raised Lazarus from the Dead. Nothing is impossible for him, I pray/ask that he heals this little girl, heals her from the top of her head to the tips of her toes, that she gets up and walks! In the name of Jesus Amen
A similar bed will be required wherever the body is taken, meaning my point stands. ICU beds are fungible.
Unless the family is willing and able (which they may be) to pay all costs of continuing this farce, nobody else (hospital, insurer, taxpayer) should be forced to contribute to their delusions.
Or possibly they can raise the funds privately, to which I have no objection except to note that a dead human should be appropriately disposed of, not kept around on machines.
IF there is a facility ready to take the corpse, I think the hospital should not obstruct the movement.
I do not know all the details of thisbut what is sad is that I read that this surgery was performed because Jahi had a loud snoring problem because of her obesity.
I can’t help but think that maybe a diet and exercise regimen would have been a better path to pursue because she is young.
Who offered this and why would this path be chosen?
I must be missing some of this story here.
Anyhoo, my heart hurts for the family. I am sure they are praying for a miracle. Not for me to judge this.
a very unexpected outcome from a tonsillectomy ... one that definitely bears investigation (especially in view of the hospital’s really rather odd behavior since....)
Can the body maintain life independent of the machines? In this case, the answer appears to be a definitive no.
My wife knows, were I to be in this situation, please pull the plugs and allow my body to rest. Just because a machine can pump air through my lungs and stimulate my heart through electrical impulses, does not mean I am alive. If my body cannot survive independent of these machines and there is no hope of living otherwise, let the natural order, death, take place. Although painful for a time to those grieving, I believe it to be more merciful to not extend the unresolved emotional trauma.
People should be smart enough to understand that all medical procedures have risk, no matter how small. Something may go wrong and you may be injured or die. Is the risk greater than the benefit? In most cases, no. But on occasion, absent malpractice, accidents happen or risk exposes itself at no demonstrable fault of any party. All humans are different, why should we expect all bodies to react in the same manner? It’s unreasonable, IMO. But I know I’m in a minority because everyone wants someone to blame.
No doubt this situation is sad, but I guess I’m a heartless cracker because I don’t think there should be a payout unless malpractice can be proven.
In the famous words of Dr. L McCoy: “She’s Dead Jim”.
Do the autopsy and dispose of the corpse as you and your religion sees fit, Mourn and Move On.
Then... let the lawsuits begin.
Your response makes no sense.
If a medical institute offers to provide such care, they can.
Children’s does not want to, but others will.
Whether she is brain dead or not brain dead has zero bearing on this.
She is not dead or this would not be an issue and the term brain dead would not need to be used.
People trying to sway opinion via emotion and shock, using the term cadaver are being deliberately dishonest.
I’m in general agreement with you.
Except quite importantly you are being dishonest by calling her a corpse.
Until she is removed from the life support and dies she is not dead.
That’s the whole issue.
As I posted on another thread:
If what we are being told by the media is true, this is not even close to the Terri Schiavo case. Terri was very much alive and this poor soul is not. The family needs psychological help, and as a mother I cannot even imagine what they are going through. I’d lose my mind if I lost one of my babies. I can’t help but think that they are demanding this because of their own guilt. This child underwent surgery for a problem that could have possibly been eliminated by healthy eating and exercise. If weight loss did not alleviate the problem then the surgery could have been considered. This family wanted a quick fix, but anesthetizing a small body and then carving out body parts comes with a lot of risks. I’ve also noticed that they don’t want to take her home and take care of her, they want her in a facility. They want somebody else to take care of the child. This whole case is heart breaking and disturbing.
1. The procedure was not a simple tonsillectomy and not nearly as simple as it has been portrayed in the media.
2. But for purposes of discussion, let's assume it was. The Law of Large Numbers means that whenever a medical procedure is performed a great many times, even the simplest WILL have bad outcomes.
More than 500,000 tonsillectomies are performed on children each year in the US. A 1 in 100k chance of death means each year, on average, 5 children will die.
That's why for even the simplest procedures you are required to sign waivers that you have had the risks explained to you. Those risks exists, and anytime anesthetics are used, as an example, there is a non-zero risk of a very bad result.
Something I have learned.
Many doctors lie.
I was in an intensive care unit, when the doctor called a bunch of other credentialed people in coats to press me into signing a paper that would kill a relative that night.
“Is there no way she could be put on a ventilator in the home?”
“There’s absolutely no way.” (room full of docs nod their head). A long with exhasperated signs and shaking of head like you’re an unreasonable idiot for asking questions.
I left without signing and did some hasty research.
It quickly turned out they were lying. While some might not have known better, I cannot believe the intensive care doctors didn’t.
One of the people who was pushing me to sign was a pulmonary specialist. I happened to ask the right pointed questions and she agreed it could be done — a quick and safe tracheotomy and she went home in a few days.
We got her home on a ventilator and she lived years longer, smiling, happy, in her own home with her family.
One of the reasons docs gave for not trying harder was she supposedly had pancreatic cancer. On her death, we found out she never had cancer...
I have a lot of other suspicions but there’s no point going over it now