Medically and legally expired, Jahi McMath has been released to her family. The pronouncement was made this past Friday by a judge after the little girl, age 13, suffered a traumatic incident to the brain post tonsillectomy for sleep apnea.
Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland released her from their care to the mother via the county coroner last night.
Jahi McMath, the center of all this national attention is attached via a breathing tube to the ventilator, which keeps oxygen flowing to her lungs. Several doctors have examined her and find her to be brain dead. Drugs and ventilators assist in maintaining breathing and sometimes blood pressure or heart rate; when turned off the patient would expire.
Brain death is different from coma or vegetative state, where some activity remains. In brain death, no activity is present according to tests which confirm this finding. Trauma, swelling or loss of blood with oxygen to the brain, contained in the skull, can quickly injure this fragile area. The heart will stop beating usually within a few days or weeks, some have persisted up to a year.
Neurologists point out there is no recovery or life after brain death. David Greer, a neurologist at Yale has spent time trying to develop and promote a more conclusive standard to follow for diagnosing brain death. A set of guidelines do exist to determine brain death for children and infants, which the Children’s Hospital at Oakland followed. They would have checked for a cough reflex, eye reflexive movements and pain reflexes. All of these tests point to specific areas of brain activity and function.
Jahi McMath, was released to her family after the hospital, where she is being cared for has declared her to be brain dead. The hospital sees no hope for recovery after a tragic event post tonsillectomy.
The uncle has spoken to the Associated Press and expressed the families wishes for a miraculous recovery. It was arranged for her to come to New York with the attached ventilator, however, surgeons in Oakland did not ready her to go as they believe it unethical to operate on a dead person. Certain religious faiths and their interpretation of life, beginning and ending, comes from the heart beat. Medical experts disagree on this end of life care, with opinions differing from the brain death or a pulseless body and which one signifies true death. Medicine and certain religious aspects, collide and argue, over an unfortunate circumstance and the tragedy befallen upon a young girl post surgical procedure.
Her location has not been released due to threats from various sources. They want to keep her safe. New Beginnings is one possible site which is located in Medford, New York. This facility is for outpatient rehabilitation in persons with traumatic brain injury. The owner and founder is willing to keep Jahi and open it for 24 hour long term care.
A judge declared her brain dead after doctors did, amidst the families devastation and fight to keep her alive. National attention and debates persist. This past Friday a coroner issued a death certificate and Sunday night Jahi McMath was released to her family. The hospital wishes peace and closure for the girl’s family.
Jahi needed a tracheostomy and feeding tube for a safe transfer, which the hospital would not provide and cites no legitimate hospital or medical facility would do this. It’s devastating for the family when they see and feel Jahi’s warm body and heart beating, yet no trace of brain activity after her surgical procedure. Jahi McMath, age 13 has been released to her family, with her care and placement up to a facility who might accept her.
By Kim Troike