Health specialists, who have been watching the Jahi McMath case, have released alarming new details about the teen’s situation this past week. They stated that it is just a matter of time before the life support, which now is the only reason that her heart is beating, will no longer be able to continue to allow her body to appear as if it has any life in it. There in no brain function to help aid her body, so it is likely the beat of her heart will stop soon. If that occurs in days, weeks or months, no one can say. However, it seems that will be the one event which will define when Jahi actually died.
McMath, age 13, came to be in her present condition after she had a medical procedure to take out her tonsils. The young teen became the center of debate over patients’ rights, and of families and caregivers in relation to the death of a person. Jahi McMath was declared deceased by the doctors at Children’s Hospital in California back on Dec. 12, 2013. She even has had a death certificate issued from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. However, Jahi’s family continues to insist the girl is still alive, no matter what evidence is placed in front of them.
Once termination of all brain activity has been confirmed, there is no recovery, stated Rebecca S. Dresser, who is a professor of law and ethics at Washington University, which is located in St Louis, Missouri.
Dresser was one of the members of a presidential council, which was held in 2008 that went on to reaffirm the term “whole brain death” as being considered legal death. Even though a federal magistrate agreed with the doctors’ findings that McMath was deceased, the judge gave the teen’s family a temporary sanction allowing her to stay on the life support systems until more rulings could be completed. The judge then surprised everyone and went ahead and ruled that Jahi could be released out of the hospital and placed in the care of her mother but not before she was released to the coroner.
McMath was taken out of Children’s Hospital and moved to a private location to receive further care and treatment. Doctors have said that brain cells start dying due to the lack of any flowing blood. The brain starts to break down and turn to liquid. The other body organs also start deteriorating as the circulatory system begins to deliver less and less blood flow to these parts.
The young teen’s present condition has been described as severe and even though she is being given fluids and minerals, she is suffering from a condition that stops a feeding tube from being inserted. Numerous medical authorities believe that McMath’s body may have deteriorated to the point that any attempt to introduce nutrients into her body other than intravenously will result in aspiration—a very serious complication.
The family of McMath is struggling to come to terms with the very real loss of their young daughter, so hard in fact that they refuse to face the facts. Coming from someone who has lost someone she loves to brain death, there is a time when a family must give up the fight and let the shell that once held the loved one go. The public has mixed feelings toward the family. One on hand, some want to condemn them for their refusal in letting go. Others think they are to be commending for showing they have a strong faith in higher power and are waiting for him to heal the child. These people will never heal as long as this continues.
They have chosen to ignore what the health specialists have said about Jahi, and they refuse to pay attention to the new details about the teen’s situation.
By Kimberly Ruble