Oakland hospital to help move brain-dead girl

  • FILE - This undated file photo provided by the McMath family and Omari Sealey shows Jahi McMath. McMath remains on life support at Children's Hospital Oakland nearly a week after doctors declared her brain dead, following a supposedly routine tonsillectomy. Her family was expected to appear with hospital officials in court Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 to announce the name of the independent physician they have chosen to provide a second opinion on the girl's condition. (AP Photo/Courtesy of McMath Family and Omari Sealey, File)

OAKLAND — A Northern California hospital where a girl has been declared brain-dead after experiencing complications from a tonsillectomy said Friday that it is now willing to facilitate her transfer to a long-term nursing home, but only under certain conditions.

A lawyer for Children's Hospital Oakland said in a letter made public that before the hospital will comply with Jahi McMath's family's request to move her, it needs to speak directly with officials at the nursing home to make sure they understand her condition, "including the fact that Jahi is brain dead" — and to discuss needed preparations.

Lawyer Douglas Straus also said the Alameda County coroner needs to sign off on the move "since we are dealing with the body of a person who has been declared legally dead."

"Children's Hospital will of course continue to do everything legally and ethically permissible to support the family of Jahi McMath. In that regard, Children's 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," Straus wrote in the letter.

The letter was sent to the family's lawyer, Christopher Dolan, after he said he was preparing a federal civil rights lawsuit to force the hospital to outfit Jahi with breathing and feeding tubes — surgical procedures Dolan said she would need to breathe and be fed at the new facility but which the nursing home is not equipped to insert.

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