Last week we wrote about the case of a Bay Area girl who was declared brain dead after doctors at an Oakland area hospital botched a routine tonsil surgery. The case drew national attention after the hospital attempted to disconnect the girl from life support despite the pleas of her parents.
Jahi McMath’s parents hired an attorney who sent a cease-and-desist letter to the hospital warning it not to remove the girl from life support. The hospital maintains that the girl is legally dead and that it has limited obligations to the family.
The Los Angeles Times reports that McMath has been taken out of Children’s Hospital of Oakland and moved to an undisclosed location. A spokesperson for the hospital says that the hospital released the girl to the coroner’s office, who then released the girl to her parents.
The hospital maintains that the girl is deceased and refused to fit her with a feeding or breathing tube because doctors say that it is unethical to perform medical procedures on a corpse. A death certificate has also been issued for the girl but it is incomplete since a cause of death cannot be determined without an autopsy.
There are two types of death recognized by courts and the legal community. One type of death is caused when the lungs and heart stop working, the other is caused when all functions of the brain have been irreversibly stopped.
“The Plaintiffs are Christians with firm religious beliefs that as long as the heart is beating, Jahi is alive,” the family’s attorney said.