NBC Offers No Objection to Hospital Ending Life of Girl Whose Tonsillectomy Went Wrong

National   |   Tim Graham   |   Dec 27, 2013   |   4:08PM   |   Washington, DC

MSN.com had this very neutral headline on the tragic story of the girl whose tonsillectomy went wrong: “Brain-dead teen facing move.” The family of Jahi McMath is trying to arrange a new facility for her because the Oakland hospital is clearly stating she’s “deceased” and wants to take her off life support. This is when the media decide to be neutral and boring.

“A judge this week ruled Children’s Hospital Oakland could remove McMath from the ventilator keeping her body functioning,” reported NBCNews.com. She can have the ventilator removed Monday at 5 pm. The hospital is lecturing the family to accept she’s just a dead body breathing.

Jahi’s family, “who are devout Christians, said they believe Jahi is still alive, because her heart is still beating.” The teen suffered cardiac arrest after bleeding profusely following a December 9 operation to fix her sleep apnea. She was declared brain dead for the first time three days later.

Chris Dolan, an attorney for Jahi’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, on Thursday said they made progress in finding another care facility.

“A Bay Area sub-acute care facility has indicated that they can accept Jahi and provide her with all the nutrition, ventilation support and other care that she needs to stabilize her and to assist her in reaching maximum medical improvement,” Dolan said in a statement. “I have been in contract with the plan administrator for Jahi’s insurance who indicated that it appears that this transfer could work.”

But they need assent and equipment from the current hospital, which is just preaching she’s dead and the family needs to arrive at “closure.” Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo ruled just before Christmas Eve that the hospital could remove Jahi from the ventilator. They put out this callous-sounding statement (emphasis mine):

Children’s Hospital Oakland continues to offer its sympathy and support to the family over the recent death of Jahi McMath. We are aware that the family’s attorney has stated the family hopes to transfer Jahi’s body to another facility. However, he has refused to identify the facility to which they hope to transfer Jahi’s body. The family’s attorney has stated that multiple surgical procedures need to be performed on Jahi’s body before this possible transfer can be completed.



Judge Grillo was very clear on Tuesday December 24. He ruled Jahi McMath to be deceased and instructed the hospital to maintain the status quo. Judge Grillo did not authorize or order any surgical procedures or transfer to another facility. Children’s Hospital Oakland does not believe that performing surgical procedures on the body of a deceased person is an appropriate medical practice. Children’s Hospital Oakland continues to extend its wishes for peace and closure to Jahi McMath’s family.

The NBCNews.com headline was “Family may move brain-dead girl to new facility to keep her on life support.” Isn’t it a bit interesting that liberals on a case like this don’t blame the callous hospital for wanting to shut off the cost switch…in the case of an African-American child? They have their “right to die” bias written all over this story.

LifeNews.com Note: Tim Graham is the director of media analysis for the Media Research Center, a media watchdog group. He was a White House correspondent for World magazine in 2001 and 2002. This originally appeared on the NewsBusters web site.