Straus, the hospital’s lawyer, reiterated in his letter that the hospital would release the girl’s body as soon as her family provided a detailed plan outlining how the move would be accomplished and written permission from the coroner. But he said neither has been submitted.
“No facility has stated, unconditionally or otherwise, that it is prepared to immediately accept Jahi’s body,” he wrote.
Jahi underwent a tonsillectomy and related procedures at Children’s Hospital on Dec. 9 to treat sleep apnea. Her family said she went into cardiac arrest after she started coughing up blood in the recovery room. She was declared brain dead three days later. The hospital then moved to take her off the machines that are keeping her heart and lungs going a few days before Christmas.
Doctors at Children’s Hospital and an independent pediatric neurologist from Stanford University have concluded Jahi is brain dead.
Her family, citing religious beliefs and the hope that she will pull through, wants to continue life support. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo initially ruled that doctors could remove her from the ventilator at 5 p.m. Monday, but two hours before the deadline gave the family another week to find a place to move her.
Straus filed papers Monday in both the state appeals court and in a federal court where Jahi’s mother also has sued. He is opposing the family’s request for an emergency order to keep Jahi on a ventilator indefinitely.
“The Superior Court correctly concluded, after three days of hearings and based on uncontroverted evidence, that Ms. McMath is, sadly, deceased,” the papers state. “Turning off a ventilator that assists in delivery of oxygen of a dead person causes no irreparable harm — regardless of the parental or religious beliefs of the decedent’s family.”
The federal court has said it does not plan to act on the request until the case has worked its way through the state courts.
(AP Photo: Omari Sealey makes a statement for the media on the condition of his niece Jahi McMath on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, in Oakland, Calif.)