Jahi McMath Time Running Out, Family Struggles to Find Alternative

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It's been quite a trying time for the family of 13-year-old Jahi McMath. Now, the family's dreadful moment of finality draws nearer.

But, according to CNN, McMath is still on the ventilator at Children's Hospital in Oakland, CA where she was declared brain dead following complications of tonsil surgery.

Last week, a judge issued a December 30 deadline ruling that the child be taken off life support at 5:00 p.m. Now, the family is scrambling as time is running out.

Children's Hospital Oakland spokesman Sam Singer spoke with reporters early today with a brief statement in regards to McMath's family. "To our knowledge, they (the family) do not have a facility to move the body to," said Singer.

The spokesman also reiterated the girl's condition to the media. "No amount of prayer, no amount of hope, no amount of any type of medical procedure will bring her back. ... The medical situation here in this case is that Jahi McMath died several weeks ago," Singer said.

Singer was also asked of the hospital's intentions in reference to the 5:00 p.m. judgement. However, Singer declined to offer a definitive answer. "The court has said at 5 p.m. today that the hospital will be allowed to unplug the ventilator, which is the only thing that is keeping Jahi McMath's heart beating. ... There are no winners in this very tragic case," Singer said.

On Sunday Dec. 29, the child's family spoke with KGO, explaining that they'd dedicated the entire day to finding more options that would lead to a definitive alternative to avoid today's disheartening order. Late Saturday afternoon, the family issued a statement is reference to the their efforts to remove the child from the hospital. The family is currently trying to place her in a facility.

"Our attorney is in discussions with two facilities that have expressed preliminary approval for accepting Jahi on a ventilator. One is in Southern California, the other is in New York."


McMath's untimely death has garnered national attention and demonstrations where people are accusing the hospital for the complications that occurred during the fatal medical procedure. Many have blatantly stated that the hospital 'should have provided better care'.

However, medical ethicists are arguing the opposing view suggesting that keeping a person in McMath's condition on a ventilator is actually "giving the impression that dead people can come back to life," said Arthur Caplan, director of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center. Caplan actually weighed in with CNN last week while discussing the misconception that '"brain death" is somehow not as final as cardiac death, even though, by definition, it is'.

Image(s) via YouTube | CNN

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