Jahi McMath, the teen doctors tried to declare dead five years ago, has diedBy Cassy Fiano
Live Action News - June 29, 2018
Jahi McMath, the teenager who ignited a nationwide controversy after California doctors tried to remove her from life support against her mother’s will, died from excessive bleeding and liver failure on June 22nd after undergoing surgery in New Jersey to treat an intestinal problem.
In 2013, Jahi underwent a throat surgery, and initially, was awake and talking afterwards. But she soon went into cardiac arrest. Her doctors declared her brain-dead, and urged Jahi’s mother to remove all life support, and allow Jahi to die. But her mother, Latasha “Nailah” Winkfield, refused, and thus kicked off a court battle with the hospital. In court, doctors testified that Jahi had irreversible brain damage, and that if she was allowed to remain on life support, her body would deteriorate. An independent physician from Stanford University agreed with that diagnosis, and the judge ruled that Jahi was legally dead. A death certificate was issued.
The battle was not yet over, though; in a settlement, Winkfield received custody of Jahi, who was still on life support. Jahi was transported to a hospital in New Jersey, and then was released to her mother’s care. Jahi’s body never did deteriorate; she complied with simple demands, although sometimes slowly. She needed blankets to maintain her body temperature, but otherwise, she was healthy, apart from a seemingly severe neurological disability. She even had a menstrual cycle. She was able to receive nutrition from a gastronomy feeding tube, nutrition which doctors said her body would not be able to tolerate and absorb. In the years since she was released to her mother’s care, Jahi lived in an apartment with nothing more than a ventilator, hormone supplementation and nutrition, and nursing care.
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