Bioethics Blogs

Aden Hailu – Another Brain Death Lawsuit

Many are following the ongoing (and now nearly

two-year-long) series of California lawsuits concerning the life/death status of Jahi McMath.  I have collected materials from those cases here.


Less well-known is another case, just a few hours away, now being briefed to the Supreme Court of Nevada.

Aden Hailu was declared dead at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center more than four months ago, on April 17, 2015.  But her family objected to stopping physiological support.

They filed a petition asking the Washoe County District Court to order the hospital to continue such support.  For some reason, this all proceeded at a glacier-like pace for weeks and weeks.  Eventually, the court held a hearing on June 18 and again on July 21, 2015.  

On July 23, the trial court denied the petition. It issued a written order on July 30, 2015.  Basically, the trial court found that the medical evidence of death was more credible than the experts who testified she was not dead.

The family is now appealing that order, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in preferring the hospital’s evidence to their evidence.

If my math is right, the opening merits brief is due August 27.  The answering brief is due September 7.  The reply is due September 18.  A hearing will be set sometime after that.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.