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Jahi McMath case in California


bionicmlle

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This topic is mentioned in the thread on TX brain dead case but I thought I would start a new thread specifically for this. To catch anyone up, here's the Cliff's Notes: girl had surgery, had bleeding complications then brain injury AFTER surgery, had brain death exams and declared. Family filed with court and judge stopped hospital from removing vent even though child legally dead. Hospital seems essentially gagged and not saying much. Here's a news article:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/jahi-mcmat ... p%3Dmcmath

I think they are Jehovah's Witnesses but there is VERY LITTLE info about this anywhere online.

There's also an article on huffpo referencing "vials of Jahi's blood" - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/2 ... 85119.html that were available..... That's wierd for an average surgery.

I have strong feelings about this, particularly given state laws and American Academy of Neurology criteria on brain death.

Thoughts?

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To add: the reason this is important is bc if they are JW, there is a massive attempt to place blame on hospital, doctors, California judicial system, etc for "executing" their child when the cause of brain injury could have been massive loss of blood, stroke, etc and family's refusal to give blood products.....

Witnesses always get an angry earful when they try to leave a Watchtower at the BionicHome.

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Well for starters Jahi had a more complex surgery than a tonsillectomy. Second, her family will not waive HIPAA. Therefore, the hospital can't tell there side of the story. All of that aside, I feel it is pointless to keep somebody who is brain dead on life support. Jahi isn't in a coma or a vegetative state. Her brain has ceased to function. She will not get better and wake up.

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I wonder, as Jahi was transfused. I am not sure how California law works so, it could be that the parents couldn't refuse the transfusion.

I know, from past experience, that elders will show up when even a hint of transfusion comes up. I've seen it several times at work. Pt. signs consent for transfusion, elders show up, then suddenly, pt suddenly refuses transfusion. The elders and boy in Brooklyn certainly exert a lot of power. I don't mind when someone refuses treatment on their own but when force is exerted, it pisses me off.

Sorry for the derail.

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"Family members said there were containers of Jahi's blood in the room, and hospital staff members were providing transfusions to counteract the blood loss."

So, no, they were not Jehovah's Witnesses. She was catching her blood in a cup earlier. Also, her uncle referred to "God" and JWs refer to God as "Jehovah".

I don't know why the hospital won't let them move her if they find a facility that will take her. Sounds like a dickhead move to me. Yes, she is brain dead, but so what? If the family finds a facility elsewhere that is willing to keep her hooked up to a ventilator, it's no skin off Oakland Children's to let her leave.

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I've been following this story as I live in the Bay Area (and one of my kids has been to Oakland Children's ER). I feel like I'm missing something. Clearly the girl isn't coming back, and clearly the parents aren't ready to face that. I'm not sure why the hospital doesn't just throw their hands up and say, go ahead and move her to a rehab facility if you can find one that will take her. It seems like they are being obstructive just out of principal. And okay, sure, someone (insurance? medicare?) has to pay to drag this out, but it's probably cheaper in the long run to let these parents have their time to let go than to employ all these lawyers, etc.

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One article said that the parents can't find a place that will take her. Basically the hospital is stuck with a corpse and have probably already completed the death certificate and are merely waiting to finalize it. The insurance company is likely trying to find a way out of this and probably will not (and should not) authorize "treatment" in any other facility.

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I have been following this story since it happened, I live about 20 minutes from Oakland so it is usually the leading news story. As of now, the family attorney said there was a facility in NY who would take her, and care for her. At the same time, no one can track anyone down in the facility back east who can corroborate and confirm anything. No one outside the family can backmupmthis claim. So they don't seem to be making any progress on finding alternative care for her. In the beginning, when the family was fighting tooth and nail for life support to continue, I could understand it. They needed some time to accept that she was gone. Now, I think their lawyer is trying to make a name for himself, and he is leading them on. :cry:

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In California, doctors have to get court order to transfuse against wishes of parents and this is usually granted by judge. I see the point on them maybe not being JW but it all makes sense if they indeed are....

For this case -

Coroner would have to release the body and the hospital would need to ensure dispo plan and I can see why they are resistant. The child is dead. Dispo should be to coroner with a death summary. Doctors should not be forced to provide "medical" care for a dead body.

Eta: any facility that would take this case is shady and full of swindlers who are probably ok with a "slow code" situation and a cash-pay policy.

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She should not be moved. A very dangerous precedent will be set if she is moved. Dead is dead, and any facility willing to take her is after money.

The family lawyer should be whipped through the streets for helping prolong this tragedy.

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The family is saying they found a place that would take her and they raised the money to fly her. If they indeed have some pro-life type place that wants to keep a brain dead child on life support indefinitely on their dime, fine, let them. I don't get why the hospital would insist on forcing her off of life support when an alternative exists?

The family doesn't have any money. I believe the place in NY is doing it for political gain. Make them be the bad guys when they quietly remove her in a few weeks.

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I don't get why the hospital would insist on forcing her off of life support when an alternative exists?.

From what our local news has reported, the coroner would have to sign off to release her. Hmm. Just typing that makes me sick to my stomach. Also, the hospital can't keep her hooked up to what she is currently connected to, and be able to transport her. Certain procedures would have to be done to make her ready for transport, and the hospital said they do not operate on the deceased.

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The family is saying they found a place that would take her and they raised the money to fly her. If they indeed have some pro-life type place that wants to keep a brain dead child on life support indefinitely on their dime, fine, let them. I don't get why the hospital would insist on forcing her off of life support when an alternative exists?

The family doesn't have any money. I believe the place in NY is doing it for political gain. Make them be the bad guys when they quietly remove her in a few weeks.

Stephanie - although hospital is not allowed to talk bc family has not given permission (which I can understand), they WOULD need to place other devices to sustain her life such as a trach and g-tube to transfer to a nursing facility. Those are surgeries. You don't so surgery on a dead body unless you are learning how on a cadaver....

Also - oddly no facility has actually come forward saying they will indeed take her....

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From what our local news has reported, the coroner would have to sign off to release her. Hmm. Just typing that makes me sick to my stomach. Also, the hospital can't keep her hooked up to what she is currently connected to, and be able to transport her. Certain procedures would have to be done to make her ready for transport, and the hospital said they do not operate on the deceased.

Oops! We cross posted! Sorry!

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Also I forgot to out in OP - mom said that her religion believes that only circulatory demise = death. Anyone have an idea on other religions that believe this?

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Also I forgot to out in OP - mom said that her religion believes that only circulatory demise = death. Anyone have an idea on other religions that believe this?

This is all I can find on it. Warning...it's from World Net Daily. It also mentions what I have already heard about the group from New York being affiliated with some pro-life group.

http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/theologian-s ... lly-count/

ETA: I don't know why Dolan won't name the facility in NY. Obviously, they are doing it for the publicity and they would get donations from pro-lifers who believe all life is sacred, etc. So I would think that if this offer is legit, they would want to be named. The family has managed to raise $32K from complete strangers to transport her, so obviously there are people with money who believe she is alive. I don't, but my opinion is really not relevant.

I imagine this will go back to the judge, who will order the hospital to allow her to be transported, if there is indeed a facility to be transported to.

ETA: If the family is Christian and they believe in heaven, wouldn't they want her to be there instead of in this suspended animation? I know it is hard to deal with, but she isn't there.

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This is sad :( I know its hard for them to accept it, as nobody wants to lose a child, but their daughter is dead. Even though they can make her breathe and feed her through tubes, she isn't doing it by herself, as her brain is dead. Brain death is not reversible, once youre dead, youre dead, she is never going to recover from this. They can make her breathe all they want, shes still dead.

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"Family members said there were containers of Jahi's blood in the room, and hospital staff members were providing transfusions to counteract the blood loss."

So, no, they were not Jehovah's Witnesses. She was catching her blood in a cup earlier. Also, her uncle referred to "God" and JWs refer to God as "Jehovah".

I don't know why the hospital won't let them move her if they find a facility that will take her. Sounds like a dickhead move to me. Yes, she is brain dead, but so what? If the family finds a facility elsewhere that is willing to keep her hooked up to a ventilator, it's no skin off Oakland Children's to let her leave.

My understanding is that the no place will take her without the hospital performing a couple of surgeries on her body. Permanent feeding tube is one and their stance is we don't operate on corpses. It sounds like it is a hoop set up as an excuse not to take her. How are they paying. As I would think once she is eeclaed dead by even outside physicians. Mesicaide and insurance would be done with it.

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Of course the family is in denial - but if my child developed an unexpected fatal complication after what sounds like elective surgery, and if I didn't have a medical background, I'd probably be distrustful of doctors and desperately refuse to believe that my child's life was over too.

If she's totally brain dead, she's not coming back - but she's also not suffering due to any procedures. How do you balance dignity to the deceased vs. accommodating wishes of the family? Ultimately, it's a personal values judgment. Even though it's futile, I'd say that the child can't feel anything, but her family certainly can, so if it's possible to accommodate them temporarily until her heart stops on its own, it may bring them a small measure of peace and acceptance with an absolutely tragic situation.

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Of course the family is in denial - but if my child developed an unexpected fatal complication after what sounds like elective surgery, and if I didn't have a medical background, I'd probably be distrustful of doctors and desperately refuse to believe that my child's life was over too.

If she's totally brain dead, she's not coming back - but she's also not suffering due to any procedures. How do you balance dignity to the deceased vs. accommodating wishes of the family? Ultimately, it's a personal values judgment. Even though it's futile, I'd say that the child can't feel anything, but her family certainly can, so if it's possible to accommodate them temporarily until her heart stops on its own, it may bring them a small measure of peace and acceptance with an absolutely tragic situation.

How long might that take on a child, before the heart stops beating while on a respirator?

I noticed the Schiavo family has jumped on the bandwagon--my cynical guess is their speaking gigs had fallen off and this seemed like a way to get back in the news.

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I feel for the family but think they need to start coming to terms with the sad reality. Of course, it's much easier to say when one isn't directly impacted by it. Just tragic.

It seems like the family is claiming there were two places (now one) that were willing to take her but there is no confirmation. I see why the current hospital is in a corner, though I wonder what exactly went wrong during or after surgery. I've heard different versions - she started bleeding in recovery (from the family), she had an apnea episode during surgery which triggered it (I'm not medical but had neck surgery and was intubated but I'm not sure if that's standard procedure), that it was more complex than a routine tonsillectomy, her family gave her solid foods in recovery that caused the bleeding (seems far-fetched), etc. As far as I can tell, the hospital (understandably) hasn't said anything official.

Can anyone who is closer to the case can shed some light? I also wonder what other options the doctors suggested for controlling the apnea before they did surgery. CPAC? Losing weight? I'd definitely be suspect of their motives if surgery was the first recommendation.

I know a lot of pro-lifers and they would never donate to the facility in NY. They see it as an attention and money seeking effort, and are disgusted that anyone would take advantage of that poor girl and her grieving family.

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The "hospital" thats willing to take her is "new beginnings community center" in Medford, New York (Long Island).

nbli.org

Their statement on the matter:

New Beginnings and the Brendan House are facilities that are about preserving life and treating brain injured patients with care and dignity. We do encourage every citizen to take the time to educate themselves more clearly on the issues of what brain death is and what it is not. This child has been defined as a deceased person yet she has all the functional attributes of a living person despite her brain injury. We encourage every American citizen to learn what their rights as patients truly are especially in dire circumstances.

Angela Clemente & Associates and a skilled team of experts along with Attorney Chris Dolan are handling all aspects of Jahi's case. Ms. Clemente will notify me later this afternoon about providing an additional statement. Thank you for your concern about this little angel who deserves a chance to be cared for with dignity and respect.

I think its a publicity run because, from their own site, the long term care facility that she would need doesnt even exist yet. Its slated to open in AUGUST. Notice where the "thermometer" is as far as fundraising...

http://riverheadnewsreview.timesreview. ... ltoQ.email

unbroken because its a newspaper article.

Brendan_PS_C.jpg

Doesnt really look ready to provide full time life support machines. They appear to be an outpatient center that handles rehabilitation so I'm not sure why they're throwing their hat in the ring.

I think we have to dance on a very fine ethical line here. Those machines and the staff that operate them are expensive. Whether its paid for by insurance, medicaid, or the family themselves the bed she is taking could be used for someone else. I dont know how long someone can have their heart forced to beat by a machine, but if we start allowing bodies to be forced into "life" forever because the family isnt ready to let go our hospitals will become museums of the dead. Its tragic, but she's dead. Let her go to wherever they believe she is going - if Jesus/Allah/Buddah/Jehovah/FSM was going to bring her back HE would have done so already. I seriously doubt there is a heavenly stopwatch that says if her heart is beating on wednesday at 4:08 PM he'll wake her up. She's gone - His will is done.

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