Brain-Dead Teenager Gets Feeding And Breathing Tubes Against Hospital Advice
Despite being clinically brain dead for nearly a month, the family of an Oakland teenager has won a court battle to have feeding and breathing tubes inserted in their daughter. Jahi McMath went into cardiac arrest after tonsil surgery last month and was pronounced brain dead three days later. Children’s Hospital Oakland wanted her taken off the ventilator keeping her alive, but the family wanted the tubes inserted so she could be transferred to another hospital that would care for her. However, the hospital said they couldn’t “ethically” perform surgery on a dead body.
“I can confirm that today trache & g tube procedure on Jahi McMath was a success,” tweeted the family’s attorney, Christopher Dolan. “She is doing very well and now getting the treatment she should have gotten 28 days ago. Doctors are optimistic that her condition has stabilized and that her health is improving.” McMath’s family declined to hold a press conference on the matter.
“Who wants to know the date and the time their child would die?” said her mother Nailah Winkfield. She also believes her daughter is not dead because she obtained statements from a pediatrician that said her daughter responded to her grandmother’s voice with squirming movements. However, a spokesman for the hospital said that any signs of life McMath shows is simply an involuntary muscle reflex and that organ failure is inevitable.
“This is one of the most tragic situations imaginable,” said spokesman Sam Singer. “A family has lost their young daughter. But unfortunately, Jahi is deceased. No amount of hope, prayer or medical procedures will bring her back.”
The family said in court filings that a facility in Medford, N.Y. has agreed to take the girl and provide 24-hour medical care. They have already arranged transport via a private jet for $27,950 and have raised all of the money for the flight through a fundraising website.