New facility offers to take Jahi McMath

After a long term care facility backed out, another facility says they'll take the 13-year-old brain dead girl on life support.
December 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A new long term care facility is offering to take Jahi McMath, but the question remains who will perform the medical procedures needed to move her.

One of the hurdles that is needed to be cleared in order for Jahi to be moved was taken care of. The Alameda County coroner has given consent for Jahi to be transferred to a new facility, but there are other challenges the family faces and their time is running out.

Jahi's family's attorney Christopher Dolan says a facility in Southern California may be willing to take Jahi and has spoken to Children's Hospital. However, the facility requires a tracheotomy and a feeding tube to be inserted first in order to make a transfer possible. Time to hash out the logistics is running out because the court order keeping Jahi on a ventilator expires Monday at 5 p.m.

Jahi's uncle, Omari Sealey, isn't giving up. He said, "We'll have to go in court and we'll have to buy time. I mean we're going to have to do this by any means necessary."

Dolan plans to be back in court Monday to ask for an extension and file a complaint in federal court.

"What this hospital is doing is telling this family, 'We're going to decide what's going to happen to Jahi, not you,' even if it kills her," said Dolan. He said that's a violation of the family's constitutional rights.

"If they want to move the body of this individual, we will do everything in our power, so as long as it's legally and medically correct to help them," said hospital spokesman Sam Singer. But the hospital says certain requirements need to be met before Jahi can be moved. "One is that they have a physician that will perform the surgery necessary to transfer the body. Secondarily, that the body be transferred and thirdly that there is a licensed, legitimate place that will take a deceased person on a ventilator."

The fight to keep Jahi on a ventilator led to a war of words in front of Children's Hospital Oakland Friday between Singer and Dolan.

"There's justice in this case and that's finding peace," Singer said to Dolan.

Dolan argued back saying, "Justice for you is pulling the plug."

The emotions led to a heated exchange.

Singer: "You are not telling the truth."
Dolan: "Real good job, real good job."
Singer: "And not only are you not telling the truth, you're misleading the press, you're misleading the public, and you're misleading your clients."
Dolan: "How am I misleading anybody?"

Thursday night, McMath's uncle and attorney told reporters they had located a facility that would accept the brain-dead teen and keep her on a ventilator indefinitely. The family asked that a feeding tube and tracheotomy procedures be done on Jahi, but the hospital refused. The family attorney claims that that cost them a spot at a Bay Area facility.

"What happened between last night and today is when we told the facility we couldn't get this done, we lost that bed," Dolan said.

"We're still very optimistic, even after the statement that was released from the hospital, we're still very optimistic that we're going to be able to move Jahi," said Sealey earlier in the day.


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