Jahi McMath Case: Brain-Dead Girl Released to Family

Take our poll on whether you think Oakland Children's Hospital has handled the sad case correctly.

Jahi McMath in an undated photograph. Courtesy March For Jahi Mcmath Facebook page
Jahi McMath in an undated photograph. Courtesy March For Jahi Mcmath Facebook page
A 13-year-old brain dead girl has been released to the custody of her mother this evening, according to an official with Children's Hospital Oakland.

"A short while ago, the body of Jahi Mcmath was released by Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland to the coroner," said Dr. David Durand, chief of pediatrics, in a statement.

"The coroner has released her body to the custody of her mother, Latasha Winkfield, as per court order, for a destination unknown," the statement said.

"Our hearts go out to the family as they grieve for this sad situation and we wish them closure and peace," Durand said.

Attorneys for the hospital and McMath's family reached an agreement on Friday for the possible removal of McMath to another facility.

Jahi went into the hospital on Dec. 9 for a tonsillectomy procedure that was intended to cure a sleep apnea problem that had made it difficult for her to sleep.

However, she suffered complications after the procedure and doctors declared her brain dead on Dec. 12.

Attorney Christopher Dolan said Friday that Jahi's family had arranged for a facility to accept Jahi but he declined to name the facility.

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Ira Pastor January 06, 2014 at 11:57 AM
There are a few cases in the literature over the last several decades of supposed brain death reversal - mainly in infants and fetuses, probably due to somewhat of a neurogenic niche still being active post partum - none ever had positive long term outcome, but the papers do exist in PubMed if you look for them - and they are hotly contested amongst thought leaders - And do keep in mind, brain death diagnosis does NOT constitute zero cerebral activity as is commonly mentioned in the press - it is "no cerebral activity greater than 2 micro-volts" - most thought leaders in the space acknowledge residual "nests" of neuronal activity and residual blood flow do indeed exist - just not enough to support an "integrated whole person" - here is one such reference - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19818943 - Since 1968 and the Harvard Ad Hoc Committee on Brain Death, the definition of death has remained static, in spite of 1) the major thought leaders in the space acknowledging that brain death is a process, not an event, and 2) the continued development of new technologies, including those of regenerative medicine - and on top of that, even in the year 2014 we really have no widely accepted idea on how memories are truly stored in the brain, and how much of the brain can be destroyed while maintaining identity - Ira S Pastor, CEO, Bioquark Inc. - pastor@bioquark.com - www.bioquark.com


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