OAKLAND (KCBS) — The family of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead following a tonsillectomy, will begin discussions today on whether to appeal a judge’s decision regarding her life support.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo issued the ruling Tuesday but gave the family until 5 p.m. on Dec. 30 to file an appeal. Jahi’s family has said they believe the girl is still alive.

Christopher Dolan, the family’s attorney, said that a decision to file an appeal will be based on firm conviction.

“This involves some very serious religious beliefs about life and death, the fourth and fourteenth amendment’s right to privacy because we have privacy rights that say we get to make decisions over our body,” he said.

“Those are the same privacy rights that led to contraception, the foundation of Roe v. Wade.”

Douglass Strauss, Oakland Children’s Hospital attorney, said while being sympathetic with McMath’s family, any appeal would likely be opposed.

“I’d have to see the exact nature of the family’s request for appellate relief but it’s quite likely that Children’s (Hospital) would oppose that appellate relief,” he said.

McMath’ family spent Christmas day by her side at the hospital.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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