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Jahi Family's Attorney Says Case Could Set Precedent For Parents' Rights

OAKLAND (KCBS) — Jahi McMath's family has removed the brain-dead teenager from Childrens Hospital Oakland, but her case is far from over as the hospital faces a state investigation and a potential lawsuit from the family.

McMath is reported to be in the process of being stabilized so she can be given a feeding tube, but family attorney Christopher Dolan said larger constitutional issues could set precedents for future cases similar to McMath's.

Jahi's Family Attorney Says Family May File Suit Against Hospital

"There are very significant issues that never been addressed in the Ninth Circuit in California before which is the right of a parent to make health care decisions relating to whether or not a ventilator gets removed from their child," he said.

Dolan said that families—not a doctor—should determine death and that anything less would be a violation of the family's right to freedom of religion.

Meanwhile, a federal hearing scheduled for Tuesday was cancelled now that McMath has been moved out of Children's Hospital, but the state Department of Public Health is still investigation how she could have suffered a heart attack and wound up brain dead after tonsil surgery.

"There is no way that a child sitting in an ICU should lose so much blood that her heart stops," Dolan said.

"Her mother kept saying, 'She's bleeding, is this normal?' And they just said we're busy, we've got too many patients."

The family, Dolan said, is still deciding whether to sue the hospital.

McMath has been moved to an undisclosed Catholic organization location where her family said she's being stabilized so she can then get a feeding tube after being declared brain dead nearly one month ago.

(Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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