Jahi McMath Has Been Starved for Three Weeks During Battle Over Her Life

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 2, 2014   |   6:38PM   |   Oakland, CA

A judge in the legal dispute over Jahi McMath has ordered attorneys for the hospital and Jahi’s family to meet Friday. One of the judges issued an order today instructing representatives of Children’s Hospital Oakland and the family of Jahi McMath to attend the mandatory settlement conference and try to avoid going to trial.

Meanwhile, the attorney for Jahi’s family says she is not getting proper food and water.

AP has more on the latest development and the order from U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown.

The girl’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, wants to transfer her to another facility and force the hospital to either to fit Jahi with the breathing and feeding tubes she would need to be moved safely or to allow an outside doctor to perform the surgical procedures.

“At this point, Jahi has not had nutrition for nearly three weeks. She is in desperate need of a tracheostomy tube and a gastric tube,” Winkfield’s lawyer, Christopher Dolan, wrote in a motion filed with Judge Brown on Thursday. “The defendant has responded that … they will not allow such a procedure to be done and will not write discharge instructions that instruct a physician to carry out such orders.”

Although another federal judge, Chief U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilkens, already has refused to order the hospital to insert the requested gastric and tracheostomy tubes, the dispute over the procedures is likely to figure prominently in Friday’s talks.

The issue also is being considered by the state judge who so far has blocked Children’s Hospital from removing Jahi’s ventilator. Alameda County Superior Court Evelio Grillo has scheduled a hearing for Friday morning so he can speak with the opposing sides about how to handle that part of the case.

While the world celebrated the New year, the family of Jahi McMath was working feverishly to find a doctor who will conduct the necessary medical procedures to transfer the teenage girl to a medical facility that will provide the supposedly “brain dead” girl additional care and treatment.

Her mother and family say she is alive following a tonsillectomy gone awry that has left her in an incapacitated state since early December.

This week, a nationally-respected pediatrician said that Jahi McMath, who is at the center of a national debate about whether she should remain on life support, is not “brain dead” and can recover with proper care and nutrition.

Dr. Paul A. Byrne, a Neonatologist who is the Director of Neonatology and Director of Pediatrics at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon, Ohio, has given a new interview to a local NBC television station. Byrne is also a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics University of Toledo College of Medicine and the past president of the Catholic Medical Association.



Byrne told the station he does not believe that brain death is “true death” and said, with “proper nutrition and care,” McMath can have meaningful recovery to the degree that she would not meet the “brain death” criteria. He also said as much in court findings that Christopher Dolan, the attorney for McMath’s family.

Late Monday afternoon, the judge in the case granted an extension for life support after a legal request from Dolan.