California teen Jahi McMath, age 13, who was ruled to be brain-dead after complications set in from a surgery she had performed on her tonsils must be kept on life support for the time being, ruled a California judge.
The young teen’s family stated that the doctors of Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California wanted to cut off her life support after Jahi was said to be officially brain-dead on Dec. 12.
A ruling came on Friday by Judge Evelio Grillo of a California Superior Court. It arrived as both sides in the case decided to get together and pick out a neurologist in order to further observe the girl and better determine her situation. The judge has scheduled a hearing for Monday in order to assign a physician to the case.
After Jahi endured what the family said was a routine tonsillectomy to aid with her sleep apnea, she was taken to a recovery room. That was when her mother, Nailah Winkfield, started to fear that something was going very wrong with her daughter.
Jahi was sitting upright in the bed with an extremely bloody hospital gown. She was holding a cup that was completely filled with blood. Winkfield began to repeatedly ask nurses if what was happening to Jahi was normal.
It was not, and the young girl’s family and numerous hospital staff tried to both help and also comfort her. However, Jahi continued to bleed profusely for the next couple of hours and then she went into cardiac arrest.
Even though Jahi’s family has described her operation as being routine, the hospital had a different story. It stated in a memorandum that was given to the court on Friday that the teen’s procedure had been “complicated”. The memo also stated that Jahi was officially dead and could not be brought back to life. The hospital does not have any legal obligation to give medical or other involvement to a deceased person.
The family stated that officials at the hospital had told them in a meeting that was held on Thursday they wanted to remove Jahi from life support as soon as possible.
Jahi’s family members filed a legal request on Friday to receive a short-term restraining order that would prohibit the hospital from taking the teenager off her life support system or from any of the other treatments she was receiving.
At the hearing, one of the hospital’s lawyers, Doug Straus, stated that two doctors who were not affiliated with the hospital had studied Jahi and both decided she was brain-dead as well.
But the attorney stated the hospital was happy to cooperate with the judge’s recommendation that an independent professional come in to also confirm once more that brain death was the outcome which had occurred in this case.
The family’s lawyer, Christopher Dolan, stated Jahi’s family desired tests of their own because they did not think that the hospital’s physicians were truly independent.
Dolan explained that there was mistrust and a conflict of interest in this case. With Jahi being declared brain-dead after complications from the tonsillectomy, it is evident there would be suspicion on her family’s part.
By Kimberly Ruble