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Hospital Agrees to Allow Family to Move Brain-Dead Girl

January 3, 2014

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An agreement was reached Friday between the family of a brain-dead girl and Children's Hospital Oakland to allow the teen be moved to another facility.

The arrangement made in the Alameda County, Calif., courtroom of Judge Evelio Grillo, calls for Jahi McGrath, 13, declared brain-dead by doctors after a complications from a tonsillectomy, to be moved by a critical care team to an unspecified facility.

The girl can be moved while remaining on a ventilator. Her mother, Nailah Winkfield, agreed to accept full responsibility for her during her transfer, including the possibility her heart could stop, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Grillo refused the family's request for hospital doctors or an outside physician to insert a feeding tube and tracheotomy tube in the girl. Children's Hospital attorney Douglas Straus told the judge the hospital would not allow any procedures to be performed on a deceased human being.

Christopher Dolan, the family's attorney, said the ruling Friday removes impediments the family faced in wanting to relocate the girl.

The resolved standoff was described in court as a "Catch 22" for the hospital. Because Jahi is brain-dead, the equivalent of end of life in the medical field, no doctor at the hospital would perform the procedures. Outside doctors are unable to operate inside the hospital, necessitating her removal to another facility, the Oakland Tribune said.



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