OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The Alameda County Coroner issued a death certificate Friday for Jahi McMath, a 13 year old teen left brain dead after a tonsillectomy on December 9th, despite the family’s efforts to keep her on a ventilator and move her to a care facility out of state.
The family has also lined up an anonymous doctor willing to insert the necessary feeding and breathing tubes to allow the transfer of McMath out of Children’s Hospital of Oakland.
In complying with conditions set in a Friday court hearing, the coroner has verbally agreed, but not yet officially signed off on the transfer of the body to her family. That would be a final step allowing the family to take over all medical decisions.
At a hearing Friday morning in Alameda County Superior Court, Children’s Hospital attorney Douglas Straus said the two sides have reached a stipulation for the “possible removal” of Jahi McMath to another facility if certain conditions are met.
Straus said those conditions include that the Alameda County coroner must sign a document accepting Jahi’s body and that Jahi’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, must agree to be “wholly and exclusively responsible” for Jahi’s medical condition if she is moved from the hospital.
Jahi has been at the hospital since Dec. 9, when she underwent a tonsillectomy procedure that was intended to cure a sleep apnea problem that had made it difficult for her to sleep.
However, she suffered complications after the procedure and doctors declared her brain dead on Dec. 12.
Christopher Dolan, the attorney for Jahi’s family, asked Judge Evelio Grillo to order Children’s Hospital to insert a gastric feeding tube so that Jahi can get nutrition and a tracheostomy tube that would make it easier for her to breathe while she’s transferred to another facility.
But Grillo denied that request, saying that inserting the tubes is “a medical determination that has to be made by physicians.”
Grillo said Jahi’s status is “very fluid” and things are now starting to fall into place to have her moved from Children’s Hospital to another facility.
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