Skip to main content

Originally published Friday, January 3, 2014 at 8:17 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments (5)
  • Print

Jahi McMath’s mom clear to take her from hospital

A Superior Court judge said the 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead can be transferred under a deal that will hold her mother accountable for any developments that occur.

The Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
Mom. No matter how much you love me, how tragic my demise, please do not EVER allow me... MORE
Her Mom needs to let this go, but like the Shiavo's she won't, and with the support of... MORE
This reminds me of those nature documentaries where a wild animal will drag around the... MORE


OAKLAND, Calif. — A judge said Friday that the mother of a 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead after tonsil surgery can remove her daughter from a California hospital if she assumes full responsibility for the consequences.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo said Jahi McMath can be transferred under a deal with Children’s Hospital Oakland that will hold Nailah Winkfield accountable for developments that could include McMath going into cardiac arrest.

Hospital officials have argued since before Christmas that the girl’s brain death means she is legally dead and she should be disconnected from the ventilator that has kept her heart pumping.

Winkfield, refusing to believe her daughter is dead as long as her heart is beating, has gone to court to stop the machine from being disconnected. She wants to transfer her daughter to another facility and wants to force Children’s Hospital to first fit McMath with breathing and feeding tubes or allow an outside doctor to perform the surgical procedures.

Grillo on Friday rejected the family’s move to have the hospital insert the tubes, noting the girl could be moved with the ventilator and intravenous fluid lines she has now. He also refused to compel the hospital to permit an outside doctor to perform the procedures on its premises.

The family’s attorney, Christopher Dolan, nonetheless called the agreement a big step in resolving the dispute. Dolan said the family has found an unaffiliated physician to put in the tubes and that an outpatient clinic in New York that treats people with traumatic brain injures has expressed willingness to care for McMath.

It was unclear when the girl might be moved.

McMath went into cardiac arrest after the Dec. 9 tonsil surgery. Three doctors have declared the girl brain dead based on exams and tests showing no blood flow or electrical activity in either her cerebrum or the brain stem that controls breathing.

Multiple outside doctors and bioethicists observing the case have confirmed that a patient in that condition meets the legal criteria for death and has no chance of recovering.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Time to add another piece to your Hawks collection

Time to add another piece to your Hawks collection

Check out the full lineup of championship merchandise from The Seattle Times store.


Partner Video


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►