L.A. Times ran an article on Jahi McMath on Oct. 2. In their article they told about the lawyer for Jahi McMath claiming she is not brain dead and who wants a reversal on that pronouncement. I think it is so she can then qualify for insurance and receive money for her medical care.
Last December Jahi McMath was pronounced dead by two doctors at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Their criteria was that there was no brain activity and therefore was brain dead. The family fought to save the girl. Because she was “dead” the hospital would not let her be released on a breathing machine. After a long legal battle the family was allowed to take her and a New Jersey Catholic hospital kept her “alive”.
The doctors had said that without blood flow to her brain, her body would deteriorate and her body temperature impossible to maintain and other bodily functions would cease. Then her brain would liquefy.
After new medical examination of her brain they have found that her brain structure is intact, there is electrical activity and blood flow in her brain. Her menstrual cycle has begun as well which is dependent on her pituitary gland..
Dr. Charles J. Prestigiacomo, chair of the neurological surgery department at Rutgers, said “is something we might need to change in our basic teaching” on brain death.
But Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at New York University Langone Medical Center claims that: “Brain death is loss of integrated functioning, not loss of every neuron firing,”
Rebecca Dresser, professor of law and ethics in medicine at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis said it could have been an incorrect diagnosis “or it shows that medical authorities don’t know everything about brain death, that there may be cases that seem to fit the medical criteria where people are actually not brain-dead.”
God bless the Catholic hospital that received her and the new care center that is presently taking care of her. Please keep her in your prayers.
This whole “brain dead” issue is very serious. Millions of people need organ transplants. They get them from people who have been deemed “brain dead” and who are maintained alive while the organs are harvested. They maintain they are not alive because there is no brain activity. But the person breathes on a breathing machine and heart beats normally until their organs are harvested.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.