Jahi McMath's family and hospital reach agreement to move teen's body

Attorneys for Children’s Hospital Oakland and the family of Jahi McMath came to an agreement on Friday to allow the 13-year-old girl to be moved from the medical facility.

CBS Radio reports that Children’s has agreed to allow Jahi, who was declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy procedure, to be moved by ambulance. 

Jahi’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, agreed to be responsible for whatever happens to the teen when she is moved, including the possibility of cardiac arrest. The Alameda County coroner will have to sign a document accepting Jahi's body before she is moved from Children’s.

The hospital will not allow their doctors or any visiting doctors to insert the breathing and feeding tubes that would be required for long-term care. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo also denied the family’s request to force the hospital to insert the tubes.

Yesterday, a federal magistrate had ordered the attorneys to meet in order to to discuss a possible settlement to avoid a trial.

Jahi had her tonsils removed on Dec. 9 to treat her sleep apnea. After she awoke from her surgery, her family claims she started profusely bleeding from her mouth and went into cardiac arrest. She was declared brain dead on Dec. 12, meaning she was determined to have no neurological activity and cannot control any of her biological processes without the aid of machines.

Jahi’s family has been arguing in the courts to keep the girl hooked up to a ventilator, despite the hospital’s insistence that the girl no longer has any brain function. Family members say they still have hope that the teen can recover and cite religious reasons for keeping her on life support.

Judges have agreed with two medical evaluations that have concluded that Jahi is brain dead, but have ordered the hospital to keep the teen on life support until 5 p.m. PT on Jan. 7.

The family expressed interest in moving the teen to another facility. It will be hard to find an establishment that will take Jahi without breathing or feeding tubes, and no facility has been named as of yet, according to CBS Radio. 

The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, which was started by Terri Schiavo’s parents after her death, said they are helping Jahi’s relatives transfer the girl.

Schiavo, who was in a persistent vegetative state after brain damage due to a heart attack, died in 2005 after being at the center of a long legal battle. Her husband finally won permission to remove her feeding tube over her parents' objections. 

Schiavo's condition differed from Jahi McMath's, because despite her vegetative state she still had a functioning brain stem that could regulate some body processes like breathing.


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