Bioethics Blogs

Jahi McMath Defendants Seek to Unseal Transcripts

For three years, the family
of Jahi McMath has made numerous public claims that she is alive.  

The medical defendants in her malpractice lawsuit now want to rebut those
claims by using evidence presented during hearings in December 2013.  But
those records are under seal.  The family opposes
the defendants’ joint motion
, citing Jahi’s right to confidentiality.
 A hearing is scheduled for December 13, 2016.


Furthermore, for those wanting to “catch up” on what this case is all
about, the plaintiffs’ opposition brief provides a nice recap of the medical
malpractice claims.  It also provides a recap of the evidentiary basis
that Jahi is now alive.  Highlighting is mine.


“Here, based upon
medical experts’ evaluations of Jahi since Judge Grillo’s ruling in 2013, she
no longer fulfills standard brain death criteria, due to her 
ability
to specifically respond to stimuli. 
The distinction
between random cord-originating movements and true responses to command is
crucial to diagnosis of brain death. Jahi is capable of intermittently
responding intentionally to a verbal command.”


“Additionally, the
international team of  medical experts who gathered to observe, test and
analyze Jahi’s unprecedented progress in the fall of 2014 saw evidence of 
brain
activity in the EEG
.  They observed the brain activity increase and become
‘readily identifiable  and profound’ when Jahi’s mother spoke to Jahi.
 A long and thorough MRI was conducted in which they ‘unequivocally saw
the presence of brain structure including the evidence of ribbons in the brain.”

“This is critical as it showed that the brain, although damaged, was there
structurally.’  Nine months after Jahi was declared brain dead, the
experts ‘would have expected to see her brain had liquefied.

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.