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Jahi McMath: Nursing home backs out; hospital will not operate on dead body

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Jahi McMath has been declared legally dead and deceased by Judge Grillo, and the nursing home that originally agreed to take Jahi McMath has backed out. "We lost the facility that we were originally going to go with," said Omari Sealey, Jahi's uncle and the family's spokesman, reported CBS News on Dec. 27, 2013.

Jahi McMath’s uncle said that the family is now in talks with three other nursing homes, two of them in the Los Angeles area and one in New York.

The challenge with transporting the 13-year-old girl -- who bled from her mouth and went into cardiac arrest following what was supposed to be a routine tonsillectomy – lies in the fact that in order to transport Jahi to another facility, she would need to have surgically inserted breathing and feeding tubes.

“The girl's relatives had announced on Thursday that they had found a nursing home in the San Francisco Bay Area that was willing to care for the girl if she had the tubes. Within hours, the hospital's chief of pediatrics issued a statement saying Children's would not cooperate because it ‘does not believe that performing surgical procedures on the body of a deceased person is an appropriate medical practice’.”

After learning that Children’s Hospital Oakland does allow a transfer of Jahi but will not operate on a “deceased body,” the nursing facility that had originally agreed to accept Jahi, backed out.

On Friday, Jahi McMath’s family lawyer Christopher Dolan said that he was preparing a federal civil rights lawsuit to force the hospital to do the operation on 13-year-old Jahi and that he was drafting a civil rights lawsuit alleging that the hospital's refusal to cooperate violated her family's religious, due process rights and privacy rights.

Children’s hospital agreed to a transfer of Jahi to a facility but since the girl has been declared legally dead by a judge, a transfer would require the consent from the Alameda County coroner. The family would also have to "find a physician that would be willing to operate on the body," said hospital spokesman Sam Singer.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo gave Jahi McMath's family until 5 p.m. Dec. 30 to file an appeal to his decision that the hospital can take Jahi off life support. The case is now out of Judge Grillo's court and the decision will be up to the California Court of Appeal if the family decides to pursue its legal case to keep Jahi on the ventilator.



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