OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — With a family fighting a hospital to keep their brain-dead daughter on life support just days before Christmas, a California judge on Monday ordered a second medical evaluation for 13-year-old Jahi McMath.

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 examination was expected to occur later on Monday.

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, 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.

The judge is expected to take up the request to use Byrne, and another hearing was scheduled for Tuesday morning, Christmas Eve.

Jahi’s family says the girl bled profusely after a tonsillectomy and then went into cardiac arrest before being declared brain dead.

Outside the courtroom, Dr. David Durand, chief of pediatrics at Children’s, said that staff have the “deepest sympathy” for the family, but that Jahi is brain dead.

“The ventilator cannot reverse the brain death that has occurred and it would be wrong to give false hope that Jahi will ever come back to life,” he said.

Durand said Jahi’s surgery was “very complex,” not simply a tonsillectomy.

“It was much more complicated than a tonsillectomy,” Durand said. He refused to elaborate, citing health care privacy laws.

Christopher Dolan, the family’s attorney, vowed to keep Jahi hooked to the ventilator through Christmas, saying he would file an appeal if the judge orders her removed from the machine on Tuesday.

“I am confident she’ll live through Christmas,” a visibly weary Dolan said after the hearing. Dolan said he is working the case for free after the family reached out for help a week earlier.

Given the very public battle over Jahi’s treatment, the judge pleaded with attorneys on both sides to continue speaking with each other and the family to help prepare for his eventual final order.

“This is a very, very charged case. The stakes are very high because there’s a young girl involved,” Grillo said.

(Photo: AP)

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10 thoughts on “2nd Opinion Ordered for Teen, Jahi McMath, Declared Brain Dead

  1. Mac Ben on said:

    Brain dead is dead. Nothing will bring her back. Medical emergencies happen. Face it. Move on. Heal. Keeping her body plugged up to a machine is only prolonging the inevitable. Here is the test: If the machine is unplugged, will she breath on her own? If the answer is no, then she is a goner; just a step above (or below) a zombie.

    • tewdee Q on said:

      You are the one who is dead, that its, no soul in your body at all. Simply a vehicle for the expression of wickedness. Born without a conscience. Only someone having no conscience could make a statement like that. Oh wait! You have to have a conscience to understand this!

      • Mac Ben on said:

        I know the truth hurts Suzy Q, but my statement was just that- THE TRUTH. We as black folks always have a problem with it. That is why we always look to the white man to solve our problems- while blaming him for our problems. That is why we complain about the education in all public schools, then turn around and enroll our kids in HBCUs. We are the descendants of Cain- look it up.

    • Nothing sums your statement up even more than how this patient was treated, how the family was treated when the doctor came to unhook the life support, with such horrific rudeness towards the patient’s mother and family as I recall on the video, telling her, and the family that, her daughter was, “dead, dead, dead”. I am sick and tired of hearing about the disingenuous, insincere apologies given up to cover up their indifference to the treatment of this patient. More should have been done to evaluate and more testing should have been done for this patient when even the family noted that the bleeding was abnormal other than nothing but call the case “complex”, cover up their poor, indifferent and racist behavior with disingenuous apologies later. I don’t believe the judge in the case even cares. Must be a reason they are trying to rush the child’s body off life support system and out of the hospital without doing any more than just a brain test in an attempt to just declare that she is quote “dead, dead, dead” quote.

    • Mac Ben on said:

      Ironically, it is still better than anywhere else in the world- especially anywhere on the African continent. Believe me. So, we need to stop moping and marching and start learning and doing. Ever wonder why America has an immigration problem?

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