Brain-Dead Teen's Family: Hospital Is Starving Her

Family say hospital 'hellbent' on ending Jahi's life

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 2, 2014 2:27 AM CST

(Newser) – The family of Jahi McMath, the California 13-year-old declared brain dead after tonsil surgery, is still desperately trying to find a doctor willing to operate on the daughter hospital officials refer to as a corpse. The McMath family has reached out on social media and elsewhere in their quest to find somebody who can perform surgeries that need to be carried out before the teen can be moved to New Beginnings, a New York brain-injury treatment center dedicated to Terri Schiavo, reports the Oakland Tribune. The facility says its nurses are willing to care for the teen, and says it would hire a pediatrician who would do the same; an air ambulance company has agreed to fly Jahi there for about $31,910.

Jahi is currently in Children's Hospital Oakland, and her family has accused staff of starving her by not using a feeding tube, CNN reports. The family's lawyer says the hospital is "hellbent" on ending the girl's life. "This is no trick; this is life and death," the lawyer said in a statement yesterday. "Justice is no hoax, and constitutional rights are not a game." The hospital, which says three courts have turned down the family's request to have breathing and feeding tubes implanted, denies that it is preventing the girl's release, saying it has done all it could to help the family in "their quest to take the deceased body of their daughter to another medical facility." In terms of the feeding and breathing tubes, it maintains that it is not ethical to operate on a dead body.

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