Judge: Life Support Can End for Brain-Dead Girl

But Jahi McMath's family has til Dec. 30 to appeal

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 24, 2013 5:07 PM CST

(Newser) – A California judge has joined with doctors in declaring 13-year-old Jahi McMath legally brain dead in a tonsillectomy gone horrifically wrong, and ordered that she be taken off life support. The main takeaway from today's ruling, as per the AP: Jahi's family has until 5pm on Monday to appeal, and the teenager will be kept on life support until then. The ruling in Alameda County Superior Court came after a second doctor testified that Jahi was in fact brain dead.

Children's Hospital Oakland is fighting to take Jahi off a ventilator, writing in a court filing today that, "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." Jahi's mother, meanwhile, seems resolute in her desire to keep her daughter on life support, telling CNN, "I'm her mother. I'm going to support her. It's my job to do it. I just want her to have more time. There are so many stories of people waking up in her situation."

This undated photo shows Jahi McMath, who remains on life support at Children's Hospital Oakland nearly a week after doctors declared her brain dead.
This undated photo shows Jahi McMath, who remains on life support at Children's Hospital Oakland nearly a week after doctors declared her brain dead.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of McMath Family and Omari Sealey)
This undated photo shows Jahi McMath, who remains on life support at Children's Hospital Oakland nearly a week after doctors declared her brain dead.
This undated photo shows Jahi McMath, who remains on life support at Children's Hospital Oakland nearly a week after doctors declared her brain dead.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of McMath Family and Omari Sealey)
Nailah Winkfield, mother of Jahi McMath, attends a court hearing in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013.
Nailah Winkfield, mother of Jahi McMath, attends a court hearing in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Contra Costa Times, Kristopher Skinner)
Makhai McMath, 8, is surrounded by people praying for her big sister Jahi McMath outside Children's Hospital Oakland on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013.
Makhai McMath, 8, is surrounded by people praying for her big sister Jahi McMath outside Children's Hospital Oakland on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Contra Costa Times, Susan Tripp Pollard)
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