A foundation started by Terri Schiavo’s family stated they have been trying to help relatives of the 13-year-old California girl, Jahi McMath.
McMath, a healthy 13 year old, went into Children’s Hospital Oakland for a routine tonsillectomy on December 9th. The surgery was needed to treat a sleep disorder, but McMath began heavily bleeding after surgery consequently suffering a heart attack and then brain swelling. Three days later she was declared brain dead after complications arose.
Schiavo, who suffered brain damage after a heart attack, was at the center of a years-long right-to-die struggle that ended in 2005 when her husband removed her feeding tube over objections from her parents.
“Together with our team of experts, Terri’s Network believes Jahi’s case is representative of a very deep problem within the U.S. healthcare system — particularly those issues surrounding the deaths of patients within the confines of hospital corporations, which have a vested financial interest in discontinuing life,” the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network said in a prepared statement.
The organization has been overseeing the efforts of several groups to help get Jahi transferred out of Children’s Hospital Oakland and brought “to a safe place.”
The family said Tuesday that they had found a place in New York that could take her, but Oakland hospital “refused to agree to allow us to proceed in that matter,” Jahi’s uncle Omari Sealey said.
The hospital denied the accusation.
“We have done everything to assist the family of Jahi McMath in their quest to take the deceased body of their daughter to another medical facility,” hospital spokesman Sam Singer said.
“To date, they have been unwilling or unable to provide a physician to perform the procedures necessary, transportation, or a facility that would accept a dead person on a ventilator. Our hearts and thoughts go out to them in this tragic situation, but the statements being made by their attorney and some family members are misleading and untrue.”
“This child was sitting on death row,” said family attorney Christopher Dolan. “This was a facility that was hell bent on ending this child’s life today, and a court stepped in.”
Doctors and a judge have declared her brain dead and said there’s no chance Jahi will come back to life.
A judge ordered that the hospital could disconnect Jahi at 5 p.m. (8 p.m. ET) on January 7.
Omari Sealey said Wednesday that the family still hopes to move her to another facility.
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