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Family Of Girl Declared Brain Dead To Ask Court To Order Feeding, Breathing Tubes At Oakland Hospital

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McMath Family

The family of Jahi McMath and their lawyer Chris Dolan spoke to reporters. (CBS)

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The family for a 13-year-old Oakland girl who was declared brain dead three weeks ago will go to federal court on Friday to seek an order that would require Children’s Hospital Oakland to install tubes so she can be moved to another facility.

Specifically, Jahi McMath’s family wants a judge to order Children’s to insert a gastric feeding tube so that Jahi can get nutrition and a tracheotomy tube that would make it easier for her to breathe while she’s transferred to another facility.

Jahi has been on life support at Children’s since Dec. 12, when doctors pronounced her brain dead after she suffered complications from a tonsillectomy procedure three days earlier that was intended to cure a sleep apnea problem that had made it difficult for her to sleep.

Christopher Dolan, an attorney for Jahi’s family, said in a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland today that, “At this point Jahi has not had nutrition for nearly three weeks. She is in desperate need of the installation of a tracheotomy tube and a gastric tube.”

Dolan said the tubes must be installed before Jahi can be transferred to another facility but Children’s has stated that it “will not allow such a procedure to be done and will not write discharge instructions that instruct a physician to carry out such orders.”

Children’s officials have said that they won’t insert the tubes because they have no legal obligation to operate on the body of a dead person.

Children’s spokesman Sam Singer said today that Dolan and Jahi’s family haven’t notified the hospital of any facility that would accept Jahi, the name of a doctor who would insert the tubes or the name of an air ambulance company that would transport Jahi to another facility.

Singer said, “We extend our hearts and sympathy to Jahi’s family” but their request to have the tubes installed isn’t based on reality.

The request for an order requiring the tubes to be installed will be heard by Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu in U.S. District Court in Oakland at 11 a.m. on Friday.

Two hours earlier, at 9 a.m. on Friday, the attorneys in the case also are scheduled to appear for a settlement conference in the courtroom of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo in Oakland.

Grillo has issued a temporary restraining order barring Children’s Hospital from taking Jahi off life support.

The order had been scheduled to expire at 5 p.m. on Monday but shortly before that deadline Grillo extended the order until 5 p.m. on Jan. 7.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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