Experts: Brain-Dead Teen's Body Is Deteriorating
No 'heroic measures' can change the inevitable for Jahi McMath, they say
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2014 6:56 AM CST
Updated Jan 10, 2014 7:18 AM CST
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)

(Newser) – The coroner's office has issued a death certificate for Jahi McMath, but her family's lawyer this week claimed that now that she is receiving nutrition via a feeding tube, her "health is improving" and her condition has stabilized. But medical experts say that condition is undoubtedly a deteriorating one. Yesterday marked a month since since Jahi's Dec. 9 surgery, and the San Jose Mercury News and Los Angeles Times share notes written by a critical care pediatrician at Children's Hospital Oakland last week and contained in a court filing.

The notes indicate that the elasticity is fading from the tissues below Jahi's skin, that blankets are needed to keep her body temp above 95 degrees, that muscle contraction is occurring, and that "additional and more dramatic signs of the body's deterioration will continue to manifest over time, regardless of any procedures and regardless of any heroic measures." Other medical experts agree. "This is basically organ support; it's not life support," says one neurologist. "Her organs are slowly dying. Her fate is written; it's just a question of when everything fails." Click for more on the McMath family's lawyer, who has been receiving death threats.

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Showing 3 of 278 comments
D Martin
Jan 12, 2014 12:13 PM CST
0894323 you rake the hospital over the coals but the ultimate injustice here is her mother let her get obese. That is where her problems started. A child shouldn't be so big that they develop apnea at that age. This mother needs to let this child go.
0894323
Jan 12, 2014 4:21 AM CST
This never would have gotten to this point if the hospital administration had just shown a little compassion in the very beginning. They wanted to unplug her like 3 days after the fact. They never really apologized and they didn't even give the family proper time to call everyone together and pay their respects. They were even pushing to pull the plug right around the Christmas holiday! And now, suprise, surprise, everyone's got their back up. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, she's dead, let it go. Fine. But when my father in law went into a coma because of the hospital's mistake, they at least apologized and gave us a week to get our ducks lined up before pressing us on what to do... Instead in Jahi's case, they've been pushy and shovy the entire time from beginning to end, all the while citing "excessive financial cost" as the reason for unplugging her, but what do they do but go running off to their lawyers every time they need even the smallest piece of advice or to issue yet another unnecessary obvious public statement. A little human decency and common sense could have solved this before it even became a problem. Hell, even one nice, properly trained, emotionally intelligent nurse could have probably solved this. Give the family a break. (If you disagree with me, go ahead. Save your "she's dead, let it go" argument for someone else. I've been in this situation before and I know the hospital admin could have done a much better job of this.)
augie2
Jan 11, 2014 11:42 PM CST
Bury her already.