Jahi McMath

From "Keep Jahi Mcmath on life support" Facebook page

Oakland Teen Dies Years After Family Fought Authorities That Declared Her Brain Dead

KCBS Radio Morning News
June 29, 2018 - 8:48 am

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) -- An attorney for the family of Jahi McMath says the girl has been disconnected from life support in New Jersey, ending a long saga that raised numerous legal and medical questions.

Complications developed after the surgery. Jahi eventually went into cardiac arrest and was declared brain-dead.

Her family refused to accept the determination of death. After battling with authorities in California, they had the girl moved to New Jersey, the only state in the nation that allows exemptions for death determinations that violate religious beliefs.

Jahi was kept for years in an apartment in New Jersey, connected to a vemtilator and feeding tube. The family attorney said she was disconnected from life support last week and the state of New Jersey will issue a new death certificate.

The case is likely to be studied for years by the medical and legal communities, according to medical ethics expert Dr. Arthur Caplan. The founding director of the Division of Medical Ethics at the NYU School of Medicine told KCBS Radio morning anchors Stan Bunger and Susan Leigh Taylor that there are three major areas of debate.

"First," said Caplan,"the question of parental rights. What happens when parents don't accept the determination of death?"

In addition, Caplan said there are questions about who should pay if a family disputes a death determination, since insurers are unlikely to want to shoulder the expense. And finally, Caplan said the whole question of brain death will continue to be debated.