The family of a Bay Area girl is seeking her transfer after a failed tonsil surgery. CNN reports that 13-year-old Jahi McMath suffered complications after her tonsil surgery which left her brain dead.
The girl received her surgery at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, which declared the girl brain dead three days after her surgery and sought to remove her from life support. The family hired an attorney who fired off a cease-and-desist letter to the hospital to save the girl.
On Tuesday, the chief of pediatric neurology at Stanford Children’s Hospital confirmed that the girl was brain dead. The Children’s Hospital says that the girl is clinically dead and that it does not have to abide by statutory transfer procedures.
The hospital did say however that it “will allow a lawful transfer of Jahi’s body in its current state to another location if the family can arrange such a transfer and Children’s can legally do so.”
This case is raising concerns regarding medical malpractice law in California. The family has noted that there is a statutory non-economic damages cap of $250,000 in California, may limit their ability to recover for their daughter’s death.
The hospital’s insistence that the girl is dead may indicate that it will attempt to avoid liability for medical costs associated with her transfer and subsequent care.