Bioethics Blogs

Jahi McMath – Latest Family Brief in Federal Case

In Jahi McMath’s family against the state of California, the medical defendants in the state malpractice lawsuit intervened and filed motions to dismiss.  On Friday, the McMath family filed its opposition to those motions.  Here are some highlights.

“In this action, Plaintiffs request that this Court, for the first time in any forum, examine overwhelming medical evidence that Jahi McMath currently exhibits function of numerous portions of her brain.”

“That Court on December 26, 2013, without explicitly ruling that Jahi’s death was ‘irreversible,’ found that Jahi at that time ‘had suffered brain death and was deceased as defined under Health and Safety Code sections 7180 and 7181.’ No evidence regarding Jahi’s neurological function has been heard by any court subsequent to this hearing, two years ago. That is the essence of her current claims.”

“Plaintiffs do not seek to re-litigate the condition of Jahi’s brain function in 2013, over two years ago, but instead request this Court to be the first court to consider whether or not, as of this date, Jahi exhibits some function of some portion of her brain.”

“Judge Grillo, in good faith, relied on that testimony, and ruled that as of that date, the proper legal standard had been met to declare Jahi brain dead per pertinent statute.  However, Dr. Fischer did not, and could not, accurately foretell the future. Jahi is the first child to have been declared brain dead who has survived this long and demonstrated intact brain matter, gone into puberty, and has electrical activity in her brain and an ability to respond to commands.

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.