- Oct 3:
- Jahi McMath: Family breaks silence on brain-dead girl's condition
- Oct 2:
- Jahi McMath: Attorney shows video he says proves Oakland girl moves feet, hands at mother's commands
- Oct 1:
- Jahi McMath: Family seeks to have brain-death ruling overturned, girl declared alive
- Aug 17:
- Reports that Jahi McMath is coming home are false
- Jun 20:
- Jahi McMath: Experts say New Jersey 'best destination' for brain-dead patients
- Jun 18:
- Jahi McMath being kept at New Jersey hospital
- Jun 13:
- Jahi McMath: Brain-dead Oakland girl receives certificate from school
- Jun 12:
- Jahi McMath getting diploma for eighth grade, family says
- Jun 11:
- Jahi McMath: Family pushing school to grant brain-dead teen's diploma
- Mar 13:
- Jahi McMath: Family calls state report 'B.S.'; new medical record details emerge
- Jahi McMath: State releases report on Children's Hospital Oakland's handling of patients
- Feb 27:
- Jahi McMath's family to get award from Terri Schiavo foundation
- Feb 19:
- Jahi McMath: Complete text of letter from brain-dead girl's mother
- Jahi McMath 'much better,' her mother says
- Feb 1:
- Jahi McMath: Is it safe to have tonsil surgery at Children's Hospital Oakland?
- Jan 27:
- Jahi McMath video claims to show her feet and toes move
- Jan 25:
- Jahi McMath: five similar brain death legal cases
- Jahi McMath: Could her case change how California determines death?
- Jan 17:
- John Horgan: Don't be too quick to judge Jahi McMath's family
- John Horgan: Readers react to Jahi McMath commentary
- Jan 9:
- Jahi McMath: Medical experts say organ failure inevitable
- Jan 7:
- Jahi McMath: Streetfighting lawyer takes heat, death threats for brain-dead Oakland girl's family
- Jan 6:
- Jahi McMath: Family says brain-dead teen's body may be too deteriorated to save
- Document: Medical analysis of Jahi McMath's deteriorating condition
- Jahi McMath: Brain-dead girl moved to undisclosed care facility
- Jan 5:
- Jahi McMath: Brain-dead teen's family moves her from Children's Hospital Oakland
- Jahi McMath: Timeline of events in case of brain-dead Oakland teen
- Jahi McMath: 13-year-old brain-dead Oakland girl moved by family from hospital
- Jan 3:
- Jahi McMath: Mom can remove brain-dead daughter from hospital, judge rules
- Jan 2:
- Jahi McMath: Case heads to federal court Friday
- Jan 1:
- Jahi McMath family spends first day of 2014 searching for doctor to help get teen to New York facility
- Dec 31:
- Document: Hospital decries Jahi McMath family's wishes to keep her on ventilator
- Jahi McMath may be transferred to treatment center in New York
- Jahi McMath: Terri Schiavo group secretly leading transfer efforts
- Jahi McMath: Hospital fights in court to remove brain-dead girl from ventilator
- Dec 30:
- Jahi McMath: Judge's order keeping girl on ventilator reinvigorates family
- Jahi McMath: Judge extends order keeping girl on ventilator
- Dec 29:
- Jahi McMath: Statement of Children's Hospital Oakland
- Jahi McMath: Mom and lawyer say only remaining option for brain-dead girl is a New York care facility
- Dec 28:
- Jahi McMath: Family, attorney release letter addressing critics
- Jahi McMath: Family trying to raise money to get 13-year-old airlifted out of state
- Dec 27:
- Jahi McMath: Children's Hospital Oakland agrees to release brain-dead girl to long-term care
- Contra Costa Times editorial: No one recovers from being brain dead
- Dec 26:
- Jahi McMath: Family ready to move brain-dead girl to new facility; hospital may refuse surgery request
- Jahi McMath: Family says they'll move brain-dead girl to another Bay Area facility
- Dec 25:
- Jahi McMath: Family tries to have normal holiday celebration in hospital waiting room
- Dec 24:
- Lost in the divisive battle over Jahi McMath is a mother's undeniable love
- Jahi McMath: Judge denies petition to keep girl on ventilator past Dec. 30
- Dec 23:
- Jahi McMath: Judge extends order to keep brain-dead girl on ventilator
- Dec 22:
- Faith leaders call on prosecutors to investigate Jahi McMath case
- Oakland: Need for tonsillectomies in question
- Dec 21:
- Jahi, her mom and 13 days at Children's Hospital Oakland
- Jahi McMath: Medicine's ability to keep a heart beating complicates how death is perceived
- Oakland: Emotional letter from Jahi McMath's mom to keep daughter 'warm'
- Dec 20:
- Oakland: Judge grants restraining order keeping Jahi McMath on ventilator through Monday
- Family of Oakland girl on ventilator furious after meeting with hospital officials
- Dec 19:
- Family of girl left brain dead at Children's Hospital Oakland demands medical records
- Dec 18:
- Jahi McMath prayer vigil: "God knows we want a miracle"
- Family of Oakland girl on life support after tonsil surgery calls for international prayer vigil
- Dec 16:
- Family furious, hospital investigating after tonsil surgery leaves girl brain-dead
- Oakland: Girl declared brain dead after tonsil surgery may be taken off life support Tuesday
- Oakland girl, 13, declared brain-dead after tonsil surgery
Jahi McMath has a bed waiting for her at a long-term care facility, and the Oakland hospital where she remains a patient said Friday it is willing to transfer her.
However, the brain-dead 13-year-old girl may not get the chance to go because doctors refuse to perform a tracheotomy for breathing and insert a gastric tube for feeding -- procedures all such care facilities require for new patients who can't breathe or eat on their own.
Doctors won't perform these common procedures on Jahi because they do not treat dead people, and in California and just about everywhere else, brain death means the end of life, doctors and ethicists said Friday.
Nailah Winkfield, mother of Jahi McMath, 13, as she speaks to reporters Dec. 18, 2013, after the family held a prayer vigil for her daughter at Paradise Baptist Church in Oakland. (Ray Chavez/Staff file)
In a letter to Jahi's family attorney Friday, Children's Hospital Oakland said it would send the girl to a long-term care facility once the family provides information on where she will go and how she will get there, and with consent from the coroner. Jahi's family does not accept that she is dead.
Facing a court-ordered 5 p.m. Monday deadline to pull Jahi off her ventilator at Children's Hospital, Jahi's family is scrambling to find a way to move her to another facility. Already, family attorney Christopher Dolan said Friday that an East Bay home gave up a bed saved for Jahi because Children's Hospital wouldn't install a trachea or gastric feeding tube. Dolan said the family may have secured a bed in North Hollywood.
At a heated news conference Friday outside Children's Hospital Oakland, Dolan said that if Jahi cannot be transferred, he would appeal the court order and may file a federal injunction to keep her ventilator going.
On Thursday night, during another tense news conference, the family said there had been a "miracle" as it announced that an unnamed facility had agreed to take over McMath's long-term care. At that same gathering, the Oakland hospital responded by saying it will not perform the needed surgeries because the hospital will not treat the "body of a deceased person."
Jahi on Dec. 9 underwent tonsil surgery and two other procedures to remove tissue from her nose and throat, to treat her sleep apnea. Complications following the operation resulted in loss of all brain function, according to six doctors who evaluated her. Jahi has been on a ventilator at the hospital since.
Dr. Jessica Zitter, a Bay Area-based physician practicing critical and palliative care, said the family might not find a physician anywhere to do the procedures it seeks.
"Most hospitals would not treat a brain-dead patient; most private doctors would not treat a brain-dead patient," Zitter said.
A health care ethics expert said the hospital is following state law, which equates brain death with end of life.
"It's a pretty rare situation," said Ryan Holmes, a bioethicist with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. He said he has never heard of a patient declared brain-dead transferred to a long-term care facility.
"In most cases, while it's a devastating diagnosis, people understand there's not anything that can be done when they determine the patient's brain is not functioning. But I understand why this family is hesitant to do that; they certainly have been put through a lot."
In a letter to Dolan, a lawyer for the hospital reiterated the facility's belief that Jahi suffered a "complete death," but "will allow a lawful transfer of Jahi's body in its current state to another location if the family can arrange such a transfer and Children's can legally do so."
Hospital attorney Douglas Straus listed three requirements: Naming the facility to which Jahi would be moved, and providing that facility's terms and conditions. Naming who will physically transfer Jahi and identifying the transportation plan. Getting consent from the Alameda County Coroner's Office.
A call to the Coroner's Office on Friday was not immediately returned, but Dolan said that office had greenlighted a transfer if a facility would accept her.
Tracheotomies and the insertion of gastric tubes are procedures done largely to ease the task of providers, Holmes said, and are common for patients discharged to long-term facilities. However, a patient could be moved without those procedures being done, he said.
"We're going to do everything we can to move her," Jahi's uncle Omari Sealey said Friday. "We're going to see what we can do to get around the procedure."
The position of Children's Hospital Oakland is what would be expected from any other facility, Zitter and Holmes said.
"Generally, when someone is determined to be dead, all remaining interventions are halted," Holmes said, adding Jahi's case is unique in that a judge intervened extending her time hooked to life support machines until Monday evening.
"I think the whole case is dangerous in terms of precedent. I think that's probably a concern for the hospital," Holmes said. "We're able to do so much in medicine, and there are times when maybe we shouldn't do as much."
As many patients wind up brain-dead, Jahi's case could create future problems, he said."If you don't set hard lines, it's hard to reestablish those hard lines later," Holmes said. "The hospital is in the unfortunate position that any time they set those standards, it can be perceived as cold and unsympathetic, and it's a very hard place to be put in."
Contact Matthias Gafni at 925-952-5026 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter.com/mgafni.