A doctor may have declared her brain dead three years ago, but plenty of evidence shows Jahi McMath probably isn’t. After undergoing a botched tonsillectomy in 2014, McMath went into a coma and has been that way ever since.
When a doctor declared her brain dead, meaning the hospital was legally allowed to remove her life support, her mother moved her to New Jersey. It is the only state that allows exemptions for religious beliefs on keeping life support even after a declaration of brain dead, and the family says their Christian faith compels them not to pull the plug.
Now, a California judge has ruled McMath may still be alive after a neurologist determined she’s actually in a “minimally responsive state” rather than brain dead.
Crime Online reports that a total of “five medical professionals signed affidavits saying that McMath did not meet the criteria for brain death.”
Her mother has documented that her fingers twitch and move — and another doctor said the fact that McMath’s body is experiencing puberty by beginning menstruation proves that the hypothalamus region of the brain is functioning. The fact that her body is not deteriorating is another sign that she isn’t brain dead.
Because of this declaration, the judge’s ruling allows a jury to award more money in McMath’s malpractice lawsuit. McMath’s family wants the Children’s Hospital of Oakland to pay for her care because of the botched surgery. Currently New Jersey Medicaid and other financial donations are covering costs.
With all the evidence pointing some brain function, it seems within the parents rights to demand their daughter receive the care she needs. Life shouldn’t have to end because it’s inconvenient for a hospital that made a huge mistake.