13-Year-Old Declared Brain Dead After Tonsillectomy, Ordered Off Life Support

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Jahi McMathA judge ordered on December 24th, 2014 that 13-year-old Jahi McMath, a Northern California girl declared brain dead after suffering complications following a tonsillectomy, be taken off life support.

READ: What Is Brain Death?

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Grillo issued the order after a Stanford doctor testified that Jahi is brain dead. Dr. Paul Graham Fisher’s evaluation was the second to reach that conclusion.

Children’s Hospital of Oakland, where Jahi is hospitalized, has asked that the girl be taken off life support after doctors there also concluded she was brain dead.

However, Jahi’s family has said it believes she is still alive and that the hospital should not remove her from the ventilator without its permission.

NewsOne: 2nd Opinion Ordered For Teen Declared Brain Dead

Hospital lawyers disagree.

“Because Ms. McMath is dead, practically and legally, there is no course of medical treatment to continue or discontinue; there is nothing to which the family’s consent is applicable,” the hospital said in a court filing on Tuesday.

Jahi’s family says the girl bled profusely after a tonsillectomy and then went into cardiac arrest before being declared brain dead. Despite the family’s description of the surgery as routine, the hospital said in a memorandum presented to the court Friday that the procedure was a “complicated” one.

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