Terry Schiavo’s family has joined the fight over 13-year-old Jahi McMath’s life support fight, according to a Jan. 2 CNN report. The family of McMath, who has been declared brain dead by doctors is a seeking a transfer to a different medical facility. The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network is overseeing efforts to transfer McMath “to a safe place.”
“Together with our team of experts, Terri's Network believes Jahi's case is representative of a very deep problem within the U.S. healthcare system -- particularly those issues surrounding the deaths of patients within the confines of hospital corporations, which have a vested financial interest in discontinuing life,”the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network said in a statement.
McMath’s uncle Omari Sealey noted that it had found a New York facility willing to take the young girl, but accused Children’s Oakland hospital of prohibiting the move. It “refused to agree to allow us to proceed in that matter.” The hospital through its spokesperson Sam Singer, denied the accusation, responding, “We have done everything to assist the family of Jahi McMath in their quest to take the deceased body of their daughter to another medical facility.”
ABC News reports that a judge extended Mcmath’s life support on Dec. 31, an hour before a federal court order keeping the hospital from unhooking her was set to expire. The teen’s life support has been extended to Jan. 7. Also included in the federal complaints that sought the extension was a request for Children’s Oakland hospital to perform a tracheotomy and insert a feeding tube, which the 13-year-old needs before any transfer takes place.
Children's Hospital Oakland for its part posted a statement on its website last week stating that it “does not believe that performing surgical procedures on the body of a deceased person is an appropriate medical practice.” It also reiterated that it has continued “to support the family of Jahi McMath in this time of grief and loss over her death.”
The Schiavo family’s case over Terri’s life support battle sparked a national debate in the 1990s and 2000s, when doctors, lawyers and family members fought for more than a decade over whether to remove Schiavo's feeding tube and let her die, ABC News reports.