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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Jahi to be Moved!



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The family of Jahi McMath and Children’s Hospital Oakland have reached an agreement. She will be moved, but the hospital will not perform any surgical procedures on her body. From the San Francisco Chronicle story:

Under the agreement, Jahi’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, is “wholly and exclusively responsible for Jahi McMath the moment custody is transferred in the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit and acknowledge(s) that she understands that the transfer and subsequent transport could pact the condition of the body, including causing cardiac arrest.”

Grillo refused the family’s request to require doctors from the hospital or an outside physician to insert a feeding tube and a tracheostomy tube on Jahi.  Hospital attorney Douglas Straus told the judge the hospital would not allow any doctor to perform procedures on a deceased human being.

Christopher Dolan, attorney for Jahi’s family, said the agreement removes the barriers the family had faced in taking the girl out of the hospital. The hospital had been saying it would allow the girl to be transferred to another facility but had not heard from any such facility. Now, under the agreement, the hospital will simply allow workers to enter and remove Jahi. Dolan said he would not discuss details about where or when Jahi will be moved.

In other words, the move itself could cause an end to the controversy. But clearly–with trust totally destroyed and Tuesday’s medical cutoff date fast approaching–the family believes they have nothing further to lose. 

This is the only outcome that could occur for the family to move forward in their goal of trying to bring Jahi back, who I believe is beyond hope–unless the diagnosis of brain dead was incorrect.

If the new doctors can successfully move her and maintain her for awhile longer, that question may, at last, be fully resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. And therein will lie the tale of the Jahi McMath tragedy. 

Finally, this is a country that still believes lost causes are worth fighting. I find it very heartening that so many care so very deeply about the life of a 13-year-old Oakland girl. 



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