Judge: Keep Treating Oakland Teen On Life Support After Tonsil Surgery
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – With a family fighting a hospital to keep their daughter who has been declared brain dead on life support, a California judge on Monday ordered the hospital to keep treating 13-year-old Jahi McMath for another week as a second medical evaluation is conducted.
Jahi experienced complications following a tonsillectomy at Children’s Hospital in Oakland.
As her family sat stone-faced in the front row of the courtroom, an Alameda County judge called for Jahi to be independently examined by Paul Graham Fisher, the chief of child neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
The judge also ordered the hospital to keep Jahi on a ventilator until Dec. 30, or until further order from the court.
The examination was expected to occur later on Monday, and early Tuesday.
Hospital staff and Fisher will conduct an electroencephalogram, or EEG, and tests to see if blood is still flowing to Jahi’s brain.
Doctors at Children’s Hospital concluded the girl was brain dead on Dec. 12 and wanted to remove her from life support.
Jahi’s family wants to keep her hooked up to a respirator, and eventually have her moved to another facility.
The family said they believe she is still alive, and that the hospital should not remove her from the ventilator without their permission.
“It’s wrong for someone who made mistakes on your child to just call the coroner … and not respect the family’s feeling or rights,” Sandra Chatman, Jahi’s grandmother who is a registered nurse, said in the hallway outside the courtroom.
“I know Jahi suffered and it tears me up.”
The family’s attorney also asked Judge Evelio Grillo to allow a third evaluation by Paul Byrne, a pediatric professor at the University of Toledo. The hospital’s attorney objected to Byrne, saying he is not a pediatric neurologist.