Jahi McMath has been moved from Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland to an undisclosed location, to continue being treated, after the 13-year-old was determined brain-dead on December 12th following her surgery three days prior. It’s being reported that she has been fitted for breathing and feeding tubes, proving that her family is holding on to faith that Jahi is alive.
However, I am beginning to wonder if Jahi’s family is being faithful or foolish? I don’t want to sound insensitive, but when is the right time to let go? Jahi McMath is literally on her deathbed and her family has gone through extreme and costly measure to move her from the Oakland hospital to an undisclosed location for continued treatment. But according to the doctors, Jahi is not doing better, her body is deteriorating. So why is her family continuing to hold on?
Dr. Heidi Flori, a critical care physician at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland says, “The medical team and I believe that additional and more dramatic signs of the body’s deterioration will continue to manifest over time, regardless of any procedures and regardless of any heroic measures that any facility in the country might attempt.”
Dr. Flori continues, “Mechanical support and other measures taken to maintain an illusion of life where none exists cannot maintain that illusion indefinitely.” An illusion of life. That’s deep. To have Jahi’s family tell it–Jahi is alive. “She’s moving a lot more. She responds to audio and touch, and more compelling evidence is the fact that she can move her head and neck,” Jahi’s uncle, Omari Sealey said.
“Bodies of the brain-dead have been maintained on respirators for months or, in rare cases, years. However, once cessation of all brain activity is confirmed, there is no recovery,” Rebecca S. Dresser, professor of law and ethics in medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, told The Times.
Jahi’s family is hopeful and is doing everything they can to care for her, despite all odds being stacked against them. The attorney for the family of Jahi, Christopher Dolan said this week the 13-year-old girl’s body has deteriorated badly since she was declared brain-dead at an Oakland hospital, but it’s an inevitable end, according to a physician’s declaration filed in court during the battle to keep her on a ventilator.
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