Hospital Balks at Surgery for Brain-Dead Teen

Says it is not an 'appropriate' to operate on 'body of a deceased person'

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 27, 2013 8:57 AM CST | Updated Dec 27, 2013 9:29 AM CST

(Newser) – Jahi McMath's family has decided to indeed move her out of Children's Hospital Oakland and into an unnamed Bay Area nursing home, with her uncle saying "it looks like we may have found a miracle to keep Jahi alive and to give her another fighting chance to wake up." But there's just one catch, and it's a big one: She'll first need surgery. The 13-year-old, who was declared brain-dead after suffering complications following a tonsil surgery, needs to undergo a tracheotomy so that a permanent breathing tube can be put in place. And within minutes of her uncle's comments, Children's Hospital balked, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

Its officials released a statement saying they didn't feel it was "an appropriate medical practice" to perform surgery "on the body of a deceased person." It further referenced a recent ruling that is keeping Jahi on a ventilator through Monday, saying "Judge Grillo was very clear. He ruled Jahi McMath to be deceased and instructed the hospital to maintain the status quo." The family's lawyer swung at Children's Hospital for being "hell-bent on this girl going out in a box." He said the family would try to identify another hospital that would perform the surgery, and would appeal the Monday deadline if necessary.

This undated photo provided by the McMath family and Omari Sealey shows Jahi McMath.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of McMath Family and Omari Sealey)
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