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Cease-and-desist letter served to keep brain dead girl on life support

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We told you Tuesday how doctors at Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, California were going to take Jahi McMath, 13, off of life support after she was declared brain dead following a routine tonsillectomy.

Tuesday night, McMath's mother Nailah Winkfield told CNN's Piers Morgan, "I don't want her off life support because I really feel like she can wake up. I feel like it's just been a rough week for her and, if they just give her some more time, then she'll be able to wake up."

Jahi's family presented Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, California, with a cease-and-desist letter to stop the hospital from taking her off a ventilator.

Attorney Christopher B. Dolan tells CNN, "If the hospital wants to terminate Jahi's life, they should go to court and get a judge to authorize that, not pressure a parent into signing a document in the middle of the night or telling them at 8:30 tomorrow morning your child will be (dead)."

Doctors had recommended removing Jahi's tonsils to help her sleep apnea. After her surgery on December 9th, Jahi went into cardiac arrest. A CT scan revealed that two-thirds of Jahi's brain was swollen.

On Monday, the head of the hospital’s pediatrics department said that because she had been declared dead under state law, McMath would be pulled from life support. Late Tuesday, after the cease-and-desist letter was served and media outlets, including reported on the story, the hospital agreed to keep her on life support.

CNN reports, the hospital has no policy about terminating life support. But, the coroner’s office says time is critical. “When the body is on a ventilator, the body is healing,” an official said. “If a medical misadventure occurred, and the body is healing and covering up traces of that misadventure, the coroner pathologist has a more difficult time rendering a cause of death.”



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