Family of Brain-Dead Teen Given Until Jan. 7

A judge has given the family of Jahi McMath until Jan. 7 to find a place that will take the 13-year-old, who has been brain-dead since tonsil surgery. 


The doctors at Children’s Hospital Oakland had cleared the family out of Jahi McMath’s hospital room on Monday evening. The time to take the brain-dead teen off the ventilator was approaching.

Then the phone rang, and a prayer was answered for the family, who have been desperately looking for another hospital to care for the 13-year-old.

Jahi’s family has been at the center of a fight over the end of life. According to Children’s Hospital, Jahi’s life ended when doctors declared the teen brain-dead, after what was supposed to be a routine tonsillectomy took a drastic turn earlier this month.

For Nailah Winkfield, Jahi’s mother, as long as her daughter’s heart still beats, there is a chance that her daughter will wake up. The fight for Jahi’s family is to get the court and the hospital to allow enough time for a miracle to happen. 

The court had given the hospital clearance to take the teen off life support after 5:00 p.m. Monday evening, but in a more recent ruling, a judge ruled that she should stay on a ventilator for another week.

The family now has until Jan. 7 to find a place that is willing to take Jahi, the Associated Press reports.

One of the major problems hindering Jahi’s transfer is that she will need surgery to insert a feeding tube and a tracheotomy for breathing before she can be moved. Children’s Hospital has said that it’s unethical to operate on a person who is legally dead, AP reports.

The family’s lawyer, Christopher Dolan, has filed suit in federal court asking that the hospital perform the surgeries needed for Jahi’s transport.