Family of Brain-Dead Girl Has Only Hours to Find New Facility Before Hospital Could Pull the Plug
Dec. 30, 2013 12:46pm Liz Klimas
OAKLAND, Calif. (TheBlaze/AP) — A California family spent the holiday weekend looking for a facility to accept a teenage girl declared brain dead into its care lest the California hospital where she currently resides remove her from a breathing machine. They have only hours left today.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo’s current order allows Children’s Hospital of Oakland to remove 13-year-old Jahi McMath from a ventilator at 5 p.m. Monday against her family’s wishes.
Tonsillectomy Brain Dead Girl
This undated photo provided by the McMath family and Omari Sealey shows Jahi McMath. McMath remains on life support at Children’s Hospital Oakland after doctors declared her brain dead, following a supposedly routine tonsillectomy. (AP/Courtesy of McMath family and Omari Sealey)
The family is pinning its hopes on a New York facility to care for the child after two California care homes withdrew offers to accept her.
Jahi underwent a tonsillectomy at the hospital on Dec. 9 to treat sleep apnea. After she awoke from the operation, her family said, she started bleeding heavily and went into cardiac arrest.
March for Jahi McMath in OaklandDoctors at Children’s Hospital and an independent pediatric neurologist from Stanford University have concluded the girl is brain dead.
The hospital wants to remove her from life support, but her family believes she is still alive.
Chris Dolan, the family’s attorney, said he was waiting to hear from the New York hospital after its facility director and medical director speak.
“The family is together, and today everybody is praying and being together,” Dolan told the Associated Press Sunday. He said no decisions had been made about legal options for Monday, and would not comment on progress with the New York facility.
On Sunday, the hospital said it had not heard from the New York, or any other, facility about a transfer.
“We need to be able to talk to the other facility to understand what it is they are capable of doing,” Cynthia Chiarappa, a hospital spokeswoman, said. “This is not transferring an individual in a vegetative state, but a dead body.”
The hospital also said it would need to confirm there is “lawful transportation” included in any plan to transfer Jahi, and written permission from the coroner.
Dolan said previously that the family views the New York site as its “last, last hope.” He has also has said it was possible the family could ask Grillo for more time, or file a federal appeal.