In reversing a previous decision, Oakland Children's Hospital is now refusing to allow two surgical procedures that will allow 13-year-old Jahi McMath to move to New Beginnings rehabilitation center in Long Island. The hospital rushed to remove her feeding tube last week and refuses to allow a new one to be inserted. According to a Jan. 1 Fox 13 News article, the hospital also refuses to allow an outside doctor to do the procedure. McMath is now starving. She also requires a breathing tube. That procedure is being refused too.
Children's hospital is going beyond refusing to treat McMath. The hospital wants to prevent any other doctor or facility from caring for her. This gives new meaning to the intention of not allowing any treatment for patients defined as "dead" by the hospital. No one has confirmed when, under any law, a brain dead patient is under the coroner's control or can be forced to starve to death.
Earlier, the hospital said it would allow the procedures. The attorney for the child's mother, Christopher Dolan, said,
"They're speaking out of both sides of their mouths. They say one thing and we go down that road, and then they say something else. The hospital said, 'Bring us a doctor' and we said, 'Tell us the conditions' and now, they've wasted a half a day of our time. We don't have much time."
The Terri Schiavo family is lending its support through the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network . A spokesperson said,
“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 first district court of appeals passed the matter back to the local court. The hospital also demanded permission from the coroner when the patient is only brain dead, not completely dead. The federal court has washed its hands of the matter, refusing to deal with the matter until the lower courts complete their actions.
The hospital's aggression against a patient sets two dangerous precedents. First, the hospital might have committed negligence that caused the child to be brain dead in the first place. That indicates a vested self interest before potential medical malpractice can be investigated. According to a Dec. 23 MSN report, the same hospital failed to give proper post surgical care after a similar procedure in 2011. Rebecca Jimenez of Rodeo, California is alive, but permanently brain damaged. She was sent home with serious symptoms and not properly treated for hours.
The second problem is for anyone who will ever be declared "brain dead." Hospitals may now decide that the patient is completely dead and deserves none of the rights or humane treatment of living creatures. Pulling feeding tubes causes the patient to slowly starve to death as Jahai McMath is doing right now. Courts, coroners and hospital corporations could succeed in legalizing refusal of services for the convenience of a corporation.