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Tonsil surgery tragedy update: Judge orders life support through weekend

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A judge has issued a temporary restraining order that will stop an Oakland, California, hospital from removing life support from a girl who became brain dead after undergoing tonsil surgery, ABC7 News reported Friday.

The tragedy of 13-year-old Jahi McMath becoming brain dead after a tonsillectomy is playing itself out in the courts. The TRO only gives the family until Monday to prevent Children’s Hospital Oakland from disconnecting life support.

Children’s Hospital reiterated in court that it would be impossible for Jahi to come back to life after being brain dead. Doctors note that being brain dead is very different from being in a coma or vegetative state. They note that the lack of brain waves is more accurate indication of death than a heart beat or respiration.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo ordered attorneys for the hospital and the family of Jahi McMath to come to an agreement over the weekend to find an independent expert to give an opinion over whether Jahi is brain dead.

In court Friday was the first time Children’s Hospital was authorized to respond to claims from Jahi’s family.

Children’s Hospital Attorney Doug Straus said, "We're gratified that in the courtroom today the judge recognized that all of the medical and scientific evidence that the judge heard established that, unfortunately, that there's brain death. We're happy to cooperate with the judge's suggestion that an independent expert be provided to confirm, yet again, that brain death is the outcome that has occurred here."

California law states that a person who has been declared brain dead is legally and physiologically dead.

Jahi suffered a heart attack after tonsil surgery last week. Her family says the hospital did not respond adequately after she suffered excessive bleeding following surgery.

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