Monday, January 13, 2014

Legal History of the Jahi McMath Case

GUEST ENTRY by VenomousFeminist!

T&T is fortunate to have one of our readers, VenomousFeminist, a California attorney, explain the court documents and rulings in the Jahi McMath case. I have verified that VenomousFeminist is a real attorney, licensed with the California State Bar. Sprocket.

Prior stories: 
01/01/14 Jahi's Legacy - by CaliGirl9
01/03/14 The Long, Sad Death of Jahi McMath - by CaliGirl9
01/05/14 Jahi McMath: Merely Dead, or Really Most Sincerely Dead? - by KZ
01/10/14 Jahi McMath: A Body in Limbo - by Sprocket

LEGAL HISTORY OF THE JAHI MCMATH CASE
by VenomousFeminist

There has been a lot of confusion about the court proceedings in the Jahi McMath case, and a number of questions as to why Judge Grillo extended the initial temporary restraining order (TRO) out to January 7,  nearly 3 weeks after the initial  TRO was granted.  I think part of the confusion is that this case has been heard now in three separate courts – the Alameda County Superior Court (state trial court), the First (Second? – the pleading captions vary) Appellate District Court (state sppeals court) and the District Court of California (federal trial court).  Let me see if I can sum up the actions that have occurred in each court, and their outcomes, thus far, to help clarify why the extensions were granted, and by which court.  I’m not going to address CHO’s response unless someone is unclear on their position and specifically asks for clarification, nor am I going to address the merits of the arguments made.

Alameda County Superior Court (incorrectly identified as “Oakland County” by Petitioner in one pleading):

12/20/13 Hearing – ex parte hearing on initial request for Temporary Restraining Order (ex parte means the requesting party doesn’t have to give advance notice to the other side, and can have a hearing without the opposing party present, something that is usually not allowed.  The court disallowed the ex parte request and requested CHO to submit a response prior to the hearing) [Winkfield v. Children’s Hospital Oakland Exhibits Part 1, filed 12/30/13 pgs. 8-74]:

On 12/20/13, Jahi McMath’s family (Plaintiff or Petitioner) filed a request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and a request for a court order to force the hospital to provide medical treatment for Jahi.  Specifically, the request asks the court for an order to prohibit the Children’s Hospital of Oakland (CHO) from discontinuing ventilation (this is a temporary request initially, with the further request that after the hospital has a chance to respond, it be made permanent), and further asks the court to order the hospital to provide a feeding tube, antibiotics and any other medicines that would support organ function.  At this time, the Petitioner’s court documents describe Jahi as in a comatose condition with brain damage.  They also ask for time to get another opinion on treatment and prognosis for Jahi.

There are three main arguments advanced by petitioner in this document:
  • 1. California law gives the McMath family the right to make medical decisions for their minor child, including the decision to continue ventilation, and if the hospital and family can’t agree, the hospital must make arrangements to transfer the patient (Jahi) to a facility that will provide the requested treatment.  Petitioners cite various provisions of the California Probate Code to support these arguments.
  • 2. There must be evidence that withdrawing life support is in the best interests of the patient or in compliance with their wishes, that when the patient can’t decide for herself, a family member can make that decision, and when the patient’s wishes are unknown, California law errs on the side of preserving life.  A number of California appellate cases are cited to support these contentions.  None of these cases involve brain dead individuals.
  • 3. CHO has a conflict of interest, and shouldn’t be able to benefit by turning off the ventilator because by doing so, they limit their potential damages in a malpractice action.  Interestingly, they state on pg.  25, line 8, “[h]er daughter died . . .”  No statutes or case law are cited to support this argument.
The cases cited in this petition generally detail legal precedent, in the form of California case law, to make decisions in favor of sustaining life-support in cases where the patient’s wishes are unknown, and in giving parents the right to make medical decisions for their children.  (Note, I haven’t read all of these cases, I’m going off what is represented in the court documents, and the quotes of the cases themselves.)  None of the cases cited by petitioners involve patients who have been declared brain dead.

Along with the petition for the TRO, the plaintiff filed a proposed order (this is typical practice), which the court chose NOT to sign.   Typically the court will either sign the proposed order, or have one of the attorneys draft an order for his/her signature.  There’s an image of the areas of the proposed order with items crossed out in the above link that I find quite interesting.  The court in the signed order, declined to order medical treatment as requested by the McMath family, and declined to find that all the facts and allegations in the petition were true and correct.  There are other deletions on the proposed order that are worth looking at as well to get an idea of how limited in scope this initial TRO actually was. (pgs. 46-47) 

What the court does order is for CHO to maintain the status quo (i.e. ventilation) until an independent determination of brain death can be made.  The court does NOT order that the hospital leave Jahi hooked up to a ventilator indefinitely, nor will it order additional treatment for Jahi.  Essentially, what the court does is say, yes, there is a presumption towards preserving life in CA, so let’s get an independent expert in here to resolve the issue of brain death so there’s no question about it on appeal.  A status conference is set for 12/23/13 so the parties can pick an expert.  This is a “win” for petitioner only in that it buys them time to get their own expert – Paul Bryne – before the court. 

12/23 Hearing – Alameda Superior Court (pgs. 76-93 of the above link)


Petitioners request that Paul Bryne is appointed as the independent expert to determine brain death, despite the fact that he’s not licensed to practice medicine in California.  They also ask again for a permanent order to prohibit the hospital from removing ventilator support, and for an order requiring the hospital to insert a feeding tube and provide additional medical care as requested by the McMath family. 

The arguments advanced in this document are as follows:
  • 1. California allows patients to determine their own medical care, and if they can’t, their family can decide for them.  This argument, and much of the case law, is simply recycled from the first brief.  Again, none of the cases deal specifically with brain death.
  • 2.    Latasha Winkfield has a Constitutional right to make health care decisions for her child and force medical providers to comply with her requests.  No statutory or case law is cited to support this argument.
Again the cases cited in this brief deal with California legal precedent, in the form of case law, that supports the right of an individual to determine medical treatment for him/herself.  In fact, the cases cited in this second brief are largely identical to the cases cited in the original brief. 

The court again orders “status quo” until December 30 and appoints Dr. Fisher as the independent expert, which is a huge loss for Petitioner as they were really focusing on getting a feeding tube in place and in granting Jahi’s mom unlimited decision making power over Jahi’s future medical care. A hearing is set for the following day so they can go over Dr. Fisher’s report.  Petitioner’s request to appoint Dr. Bryne is denied. (Modified TRO12/23/13 )

12/24/13 Hearing – Alameda Superior Court


The court issued a written order detailing the reasoning for its findings.  This is typical when it is expected that such an order will be appealed.    (Winkfiled v. Children's Hospital Oakland, Exhibits Part 2, filed 12/30/13 pgs. 60 of 77 through end)

The court denies the Petitioner’s request for continued ventilation and for decision making authority (essentially being able to require the hospital to provide requested medical treatments, such as a feeding tube).  This order also gives some insight into the information provided to the court at the various closed-door hearings.

Judge Grillo admits that while the statute doesn’t specifically require that one of the two physicians making a finding of brain death be unaffiliated with the hospital, because of the allegation of conflict of interest raised in the initial brief, he decided to order a third evaluation for brain death by a doctor unaffiliated with CHO. 

The hearing on December 24 was again a closed door hearing (the closed door nature of the hearings, and the sealing of the medical records admitted into evidence, was at the request of Petitioners) where the findings of Dr. Fisher were addressed, and testimony by one of the CHO doctors who originally made the finding of brain death was heard.  It should be noted that the court states “petitioner’s counsel stipulated that Dr. Fisher conducted the brain death examination and made his brain death diagnosis in accord with accepted medical standards.”  Basically, Mr. Dolan agreed that the determination of death complied with California law.

There was a slight kerfuffle when Mr. Dolan requested a continuance so he could review Jahi’s medical records (which he had recently received) with his expert witness, which was denied by the court on the grounds that it wouldn’t be relevant to the issue of whether the brain death determination was legally sufficient.  This issue reappears later.

The court, at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve denied the Petitioner’s motion, and dissolved the TRO effective on December 30.  The reason the TRO remained in effect until December 30 was to allow the parties time to file an appeal, which the Petitioner did.

State Court of Appeals


12/30/13 – Petitioners file an appeal to the State Court of Appeals.  (Writ petition)
The Petitioners request to extend the trial court’s order keeping the ventilator on while their appeal of that order is pending.   As part of this request to extend the TRO, the court documents allege there is a facility in New York (probably New Beginnings) that is ready to take Jahi and treat her, and that there is an examining doctor who indicates that Jahi is not suffering from irreversible brain damage. 

The second part, the actual grounds on which the lower court order is appealed, is based on the following arguments:
  • 1. The law allowing the hospital to discontinue respiratory support after a finding of brain death violates Petitioners’ rights to freedom of religion and to privacy under the California Constitution.  The analysis of this argument is basically the same as was alleged in Petitionerss briefs to the lower court – an individual’s right to privacy guarantees them the right to make their own health care decisions – the new argument is that turning off the ventilator and refusing to insert a feeding tube would violate the religious beliefs of the Petitioners.  The case law cited is again virtually identical to that cited in the lower court briefs.  There is no case law cited to support the argument that turning off the ventilator would violate the Petitioner’s religious beliefs.

  • 2.  It was a violation of the Petitioners’ Due Process rights for the trial court to deny Mr. Dolan a continuance to allow time to review medical records.   There is case law cited which generally states what is considered to be due process.  (I did tell you this issue would come back up.)
Thus far, there has been no further action on the appeal that I am aware of.  In light of Jahi having been moved out of CHO, it is likely the appeal will be considered moot (no longer at issue).

District Court of California


12/30/13 – At the same time that the appeal is filed in the California court of appeals to overturn the lower court ruling denying the request to continue ventilator support and to place a feeding tube, Petitioner also filed a federal lawsuit alleging violation of civil rights and various federal laws which apply to persons with disabilities and again requests a order to keep the vent on and to order a feeding tube.  (Federal lawsuit alleging violation of civil rights)

Since this is essentially a complaint, a statement of fact which also says various laws have been violated, there is no case law required . None of the causes of actions (laws that were violated) are substantially different from what has previously been addressed.  The Petitioners’ position has remained consistent – put in a feeding tube, keep the vent on, and allow Petitioner to dictate what medical procedures will be performed by CHO. 

(As an aside, this complaint refers to privacy rights as being granted by the 4th Amendment.  While the 4th Amendment does grant the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, the privacy rights being addressed here are typically recognized under the 1st Amendment.  This isn’t really relevant to the legitimacy of the underlying argument, but it’s more evidence of the sloppiness and tortured logic seen throughout Plaintiff’s pleadings).

On December 20, 2013, the district court issued a written ruling in reply that grants part of the request, and denies part.  The court outright denied the request to insert a feeding tube, and set a hearing on the issue of whether ventilation should be continued.  That effectively extended the right to keep Jahi on the ventilator until that 1/7/17 hearing.  Basically, the order mirrors the state trial court order to maintain the status quo until both sides can be heard. 

As we know, this 1/7/14 hearing never happened because Jahi was transferred out of CHO per a mediated agreement before the hearing could happen.  As a result, the TRO was denied, and the underlying case mooted. 

- VenomousFeminist

308 comments:

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Sarrah Nunyadamnbidniz said...

Just wanted to thank Sprocket and all the bloggers on this site for the extensive amount of time and research placed in seeking the truth. I read a lot of the blogs on Conrad Murray on this site during his criminal proceedings and when I saw this blog posting about the Jahi McMath case I KNEW I had finally found a place more reliable than the media and their propaganda.

This entire tragedy terrified me because I have a son with sleep apnea and his doctor has commented that surgery may be inevitable for him. He's not overweight but just has very enlarged tonsils and adenoids.

For a while, I was concerned about his doctor's reluctance to just correct his obstructive sleep apnea with surgery. Instead he has implemented a plan that helps keep his airways as clear as possible by using medications to alleviate inflammation in his throat and sinuses.

Finally gathering a more logical and reasonable grasp of Jahi's story has, in essence, made me appreciate his doctor truly keeping his well being a top priority over quick solutions.

I can sleep well at night knowing my son has a doctor that only wants to provide the best care possible for him.

Thank you a million times over for the peace of mind you all have given me!

Misty4Me said...

Understanding nothing about CA law, and having read the all the filings that were posted on Twitter, this was most informative. Thanks to VenomousFeminist for taking her valuable time and explaining legalize to the rest of us.

As a lay person, I too was struck by the "tortured logic" of some of what I read. I was most struck by Dolan referring to Jahi as having "died" on page 00017 line 8, and then talks about keeping her "alive" on line 10 of the same page. (I am going by bottom right hand corner page numbers from the documents as posted by Thaddeus Pope. There are so many documents with their own page numbers that using those numbers would be too confusing.) Also on page 00017, we see talk of the "draconian MICRA" law which caps damages for a deceased Jahi at $250,000 (or as uncle called it - "chump change".)

http://www.thaddeuspope.com/images/McMath_EXHIBITS_1_of_2.pdf

Then there were charges of an insensitive doctor who spoke in a "smug" tone and told the family Jahi was "dead dead dead". He may well have done so - perhaps out of complete frustration with the mother refusing to accept the death of her child. But does the doctor's attitude have anything to do with Jahi dying, or keeping her corpse on a machine? Did his attitdue kill or indicate he wanted to kill a child who was already dead? I was mystified why nothing more than a mother's reaction to a doctor was included in court documents. Maybe VenemousFeminist can enlighten me.

Some other points brought out by family attorney Chris Dolan: Jahi was awake and talking after surgery, and asked for a popsicle. Step-dad suctioned Jahi himself. These two rumors are now fact as set out by the family attorney. No mention of a burger.

VenoumousFeminist didn't wade into the CHO's filings, but they too are illuminating. Eight family members were allowed to stay over night at the hospital. A private conference room was provided for them. The hospital gave them extra time to come to terms with what happened. The uncle accused the hospital of "discriminating" against the family (during a surreal press conference with Dolan) because they were issued different ID badges from other families. The McMath family's were either laminated or not, while other families were or weren't (I forget which). Maybe this was due to the number of family members they McMath's were allowed to have in ICU --- but in any event --- since when is lamination or lack of lamination of an ID badge "discrimination"? I call this grasping at straws, and using 'buzz' words to bring race into the tragedy.

Because of HIPPA laws and sealed records, we know very little of the hospital's side of the story, while Team McMath has been free to spin away. Meanwhile, Jahi is still dead, and will remain dead. The gofundme site is still up and collecting money. Last I checked, it was close to $60,000 - a spit in the ocean compared to the medical costs the family faces. If uncle thought $250K was chump change, and looking for a $30 million payout, this is really "chump change".

I'd like to think the family still have Jahi's best interests at heart, but I don't. The cynic in me thinks it's now all about the money. Jahi's corpse maintained on a machine is worth more than a buried Jahi. The whole thing is too sad; poor smiling child gone, her name bandied about in the media, on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. She deserves respect and a decent burial, not a circus sideshow. Way past time to let Jahi's remains rest in peace.

Sprocket said...

Just because something is said in a court filing, to me, that doesn't necessarily make it "true."

To me, something is more believable when an individual gets in a jury box and swears to tell the truth. Even then, you can still have liars.

JMHO.

We don't have an independent source for what happened to Jahi, minute by minute. Until the medical records are released, we just don't know.

Anonymous said...

Anon in Texas again. I wanted to share another tragedy occuring in Texas. I do not know the family, but we share a mutual friend. A 2 year old little girl in the Dallas area was assaulted and not many details have been released due to LE not wanting to jeopardize the investigation. Her face was allegedly duct-taped on 01/09 and she was prounced legally dead on 12/12 due to brain death. There have been some comments on Facebook that she was with a babysitter who was also badly injured during a home invasion however none of this has been confirmed.

Last night, Grace's family let her go and several of her organs were donated. I have cried with this family but I was so, so proud that they were willing to let go and that her legacy will live on in other children through donation. I only wish Jahi had been shown the same love and respect.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/headlines/20140113-2-year-olds-death-investigated-as-a-homicide.ece

(Sorry Sprocket - at work and don't have time to find your instructions on making it a hyperlink!)

Misty4Me said...

@Sprocket: Someone on Twitter (possibly VF) said some of these records are "sworn statements". If they are, I would imagine one could be in trouble for making false statements to the court somewhere down the road.

Anonymous said...

A new article airing out retro views on brain death, which started making its rounds this morning:
http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/01/jahi_mcmath_is_alive.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Sprocket said...

I'm downtown at the Clara Shortridge-Foltz Criminal Justice Center waiting for a pretrial hearing to start, so I don't have much time this morning.

Misty4me:
I understand about sworn statements. I have not read all the court documents in the detail that VF has.

When I get home, I will have a look-see, to determine if Dolan's statements, referenced by another commenter, were part of a sworn statement or not.

What I should have said was, you can't always believe an argument presented in a moving paper by one side or the other as "true."

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sprocket and VF, for the information posted. I am reading through it slowly to absorb everything.

Meanwhile, here are 2 things I wish to share with all of you:

1. an op ed from SJ Mercury News
http://www.troyrecord.com/opinion/20140114/editorial-jahi-mcmath-story-demonstrates-need-for-americans-to-talk-more-about-death

2. The entire collection of court documents (93 pages) in one pdf. You may already have archived this, and if so please ignore point 2.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/wk54l44beni6xr2/McMath_EXHIBITS_1_of_2-1.pdf

Anonymous said...

@Drummimg_Man2 here.

Brother Paul O'Donnell, who admitted he works with the Teri Shaivo Foundation, went on to Tweet a lot more about Jahi being alive right now. He pretty much said she was responding to touch & voice & that we'll all see soon cuz she's alive.
This is from his Twit feed late yesterday

https://twitter.com/brpaulodonnell/status/422903040916455424

Sprocket said...

T&T readers:
I will periodically approve comments today, but I won't be able to add anything to the Quick Links Page until much later tonight. Thank you everyone for providing links. It's greatly appreciated. I'll look through them and see which ones I think are relevant to add when I get a free moment.

Although somewhat interesting, I don't believe Brother Paul's Twitter page is relevant material. He's not a member of the family, or the family's counsel, and as far as I can tell, not a member of the family's inner circle of friends that might have inside informaiton.

Today, I have notes from a pretrial hearing I covered this morning that I have to transcribe and other stories that have been neglected that I need to get caught up on, and sewing orders to get out today.

Please be patient with me. I'm only one person here.

Tanya said...

http://www.thaddeuspope.com/images/Amicus_brief.pdf

smh

Anonymous said...

https://twitter.com/brpaulodonnell/status/422903040916455424

So she is responding to voice and touch?

How is it that a conscious person on a ventilator isn't fighting the machine, as this is a procedure that is reported to be exremely unpleasant for a patient that is awake.

Usually people have to be sedated to be put on a ventilator.

Anonymous said...

President of New Beginnings Allyson Scerri's Fox News Interview.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTdhCQ2Qrjs&feature=youtu.be

Sprocket said...

The court document links in VF's legal analysis, and on T&T's Quick Links page are the exact same documents on the Thaddeus Pope web site. They just have more accurate names.

Sprocket

Misty4Me said...

Quote from page 00017: "Her daughter died from what she is concerned may be medical negligence. She has not undertaken an analysis of the professional errors that lead to her daughters [sic] condition because she is focused on keeping her daughter alive."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Who wrote this?? Kind of says it all, doesn't it?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

P.S. Re: an earlier post of mine that I can't edit: I know the difference between legalese and legalize, but spell check doesn't. That one got past me.

Suzie said...

I've been reading but had trouble commenting. This post was very helpful to me in understanding the legal case. I would hate to see a court rule or a law passed that would allow a parent to force a hospital to do whatever procedure the parent wanted, against medical advice.

Sprocket said...

Misty4me:

This is Dolan's court filing. It's his arguments in response, (I believe) to CHO's arguments for their position. It's argument Part "E" under the heading (on page 00013)

II. California Precedent Forbids Respondent's Actions and Favors Petitioner's.

In the pages before that, the defense is presenting "their" version of events (without any sworn statements from witnesses) as to what happened to Jahi immediately after she came out of surgery.

Hope that helps.

I'm sorry, but I cannot help you with comment edits. Blogger comments does not allow them in this simple version of Blogger. I hope you understand. <3

Anonymous said...

@Misty4Me - there are a number of errors, contradictions, and just plain recycling of arguments with the pleading from Mr. Dolan's office. My guess is that due to the hurry to get them filed, they were not proofread.

- VenomousFeminist.

CaliGirl9 said...

VenomousFeminist, thank you so much for explaining what these court documents mean! I try to understand them, but I do not speak legalese.

Here’s my question: I’m pretty sure that judges make decisions based on previous case law. Has Judge Grillo opened a big nasty can of worms in granting TROs in this case? Are those two proceedings now case law for any other ambulance-chaser to cite in a similar case, in other words, when this happens again (not “if”), will this bad decision empower another lawyer to take on a case like this and will it affect another judge’s decision elsewhere in California or the U.S.?

Dolan’s filings are chock full of half-truths, purposeful omissions and desperation. Sadly, they in part worked. A family was given custody of a deceased body, artificially breathing and kept warm by blankets. Jahi’s still dead somewhere, “moving” more because as the brain liquefies, the more likely spinal reflex arc movements are seen.

CaliGirl9 said...

I also have issue with the use of the term "heart attack" to explain Jahi's demise. She did not have a heart attack—a heart attack is when the heart is deprived of oxygen due to a stricture or clot in its own circulatory system. The teen coded either because she swallowed a great deal of blood, or because of hypovolemia—too much bleeding.

Unfortunately the truth likely will never be known.

So saying Jahi had "a heart attack" is just about as accurate as the statement that she had a "routine tonsillectomy."

Self-serving lies.

g kuzma said...

@CaliGirl9

Thank you for clarifying that. I am not a doctor or nurse, but I had one more theory about what might have occurred that I wanted to run by you medical people. The court documents and TV interviews I watched state that initially Jahi was bleeding some, then it became profuse. That would also be consistent with an initially calm reaction from the hospital staff - a little dripping blood = not too worrisome; gushing blood = very worrisome. So if theoretically she threw a clot internally would that have caused her blood pressure to spike and bleeding to increase, plus a heart attack? I mean, even the very first reports we ever heard in the media said she had a heart attack that caused brain death. I could be way, way off - missing some key medical fact that would make my theory poppycock. But the reason this theory makes sense to me is that I have to believe that the nurses are very skilled at distinguishing minor bleeding from life-threatening bleeding. I find it very hard to believe that they just ignored her bleeding to the point that she exsanguinated. To me, it makes more sense that initially the bleeding wasn't too severe, so the nurses were calmly monitoring Jahi, then a separate event occurred that killed her. I don't know, the family's story just hasn't seemed plausible from the beginning, so my mind searches for alternatives that fit the fact set. Ideas anyone?

Anonymous said...

Sprocket:

I read that supposedly part of the deal between the Coroner and Jahi's family was that her body had to be returned to the Coroner when her heart stops. True?


When will the authorities step in and demand that Jahi's legally dead body be either buried or cremated?

How does the coroner and other authorities track the status of Jahi's treatment; can the family keep Jahi's eventual cardiopulminary death a secret?

Suzie said...

I read the documents and a couple of things stood out to me: After Jahi was moved from recovery to the PICU, a nurse told the mother that she would need to wait a few minutes to see her daughter because her IV needed to be "fixed." She says the wait lasted 25-40 minutes. Waiting doesn't prove any sort of malfeasance; sometimes procedures take longer than expected.

The initial details sound like the family had to wait a long time to get anyone's attention while Jahi bled profusely. During this time, Winkfield said originally that she left the room to find the grandma while the stepfather remained to suction out the blood. Then the grandmother took over suctioning out the blood. The grandma loudly demanded a doctor come.

In the court docs, however, Dolan writes later that "within minutes of excessively bleeding, while her family members pled with the hospital staff for help, MCMATH went into cardiac arrest ..."

This leads me to believe, like g kuzma, that the bleeding was considered normal at first, and the profuse bleeding lasted only a few minutes before nurses stepped in. If family members had been demanding a doctor and had been very upset while she was bleeding normally, it might be more understandable if nurses didn't realize immediately that the situation had changed.

Again, if the bleeding appeared normal at first, then I'm not sure what anyone could have done in the few minutes while she was bleeding profusely to save her life.

Sprocket said...

Suzi,

Are the statements in Dolan's motions sworn statements?

Are they supported by a medical record as to what the staff did, and when, or is this information all what the family says the nurses and doctors did?

See the difference?

Sprocket said...

Anon @4:40 PM:

All comments on T&T are moderated. I review all comments before they appear on the blog. The commenting policy appears on the blog on the right side.

There may be an agreement with the coroner. Unless that's stated in a filed court document, or the Alameda Coroner's Office has made a statement, it's unknown at this point.

It "sounds" like that might be true, but unknown at this point.

"Authorities" stepping in." The Coroner is the governing agency responsible for decedents. The coroner released the body to the mother. Why would the coroner then have to take the body back from the mother? How could they prove she wasn't complying with their agreement? Would you charge her with a crime? What crime? How?

See?
Sprocket

Suzie said...

Sprocket, I put attribution into my comment, saying what the mother and Dolan have said. It's true that I didn't put "she said" after every sentence, but I thought it was apparent that I was quoting from the documents, as opposed to saying this was the absolute truth.

I was a reporter and editor at major metropolitan newspapers for 18 years, and so I do understand the difference between what someone says and what may have actually happened.

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in my writing. What I was trying to note was that stuff that the family thinks was handled improperly (such as waiting longer than expected for a procedure to be accomplished) is normal in hospitals. Also, Winkfield and Dolan initially painted a picture of Jahi bleeding profusely for quite a while before nurses helped, while Dolan later says that she went into cardiac arrest within minutes of the profuse bleeding.

But I do have a question for those of you who are lawyers: Is it considered unethical for Dolan to state something that he believes is untrue, on behalf of his clients? He writes in the docs that Jahi is brain dead. Has he stated that he believes brain death is not real death? Because he doesn't just say what the family says; he talks as if he, too, believes that she is still alive.

Sprocket said...

Suzi,

I'm so sorry that I wasn't clear.

I was talking about Dolan's motion papers, not your comment /questions.

That his motion papers are worded as if they are fact.

Anonymous said...

New article from Paul Byrne
http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/byrne/140114

smalls777 said...

From my own code experiences:

Anything that may look abnormal, IS.

For instance, post postpartum delivery. All women have bleeding. We are routinely checking for bleeding per protocol. Post op and post vag delivery. We follow a strict rule of checking head to toe, especially what we know, from previous cases, to be signs of possible life threatening changes.

Post op care: We are checking blood pressure, temperature (someone who loses blood will get cold, shiver), skin, skin color, heart, lungs (lungs for sounds not common for pt baseline - suddenly here fluid in lungs when they were clear before or even right after surgery can indicate circulatory changes ie blood or fluid in lungs) check incision, check bleeding. Make sure amount of bleeding is nml. This occurs often. Even right before transfer to new dept. If they don't appear stable, they aren't moved. If they are stable, then they are off to a higher or lower acuity floor. With appropriate nurse/transport team.

For example, in this crucial high risk time frame, where a pt may code, we are following protocols. If the Fam notifies me of concerns, I'm following up. In pacu, they are usually 1:1. So it's easy to come in and out at the bedside. If I'm concerned about bleeding, I'm paging md to take a second look. I bring another nurse in the meantime to be my second eyes. Things can change in an instance. Maybe what seemed minor, turned to hell. But when it turns to hell, we are on it. Calling for code, bringing code cart, rushing replacement fluids, slapping blood pressure cuff on to get an idea vitals. We are not just handing cups. I may even firmly ask family to move out of the way. Many code teams do not react crazy. It isn't like tv. Studies and many previous experiences show that ppl do not work well when they are high intense and screaming. We are trained and retrained to stay calm.

What I'm saying is that the family is lying. No nurse would dismiss them. And I'm sure there calmness appeared to be "non caring" to this family. But nothing is resolved when the medical team is nuts.

To answer possible causes. The plausible cause is that her body lost more blood that can be replaced. Imagine a leaking faucet you can't find. You search and search but when u finally find it, the floors are saturated. Imagine being under opaque bright red blood in an area with bright red membranes, organs, tissue. Can you find the leak in all that? And there is a pool of blood that you are trying to get out of the way, but you suction it and more comes. It's impossible. Add to that, sometimes, undiagnosed or unlikely diagnosed bleeding disorders (some bleeding disorders do not manifest UNTIL you actually bleed profusely ie D.I.C.) THEN you are fighting against a broken fire hydrant you cannot stop. The body bleeds to death. As much as we try to replace blood, we cant work quick enough against the body. Leaving her blood volume to be critically low, which in turn leaves one with poor oxygenation (less blood, less o2 circulating) and then hypovolemia. The body requires blood. With less blood in it, your body needs to shut down organs in order to protect it's most vital one - the brain. The heart stops as a response which is why they say she had a cardiac arrest. To preserve blood flow to the brain. Which we all know, although it's what the body was builtto do, does not mean it works well.

Long winded. Hope that helps. Signed, CA RN

smalls777 said...

So what I gather from this article is: under ca law, they are basically using religion and privacy to cont moot care?? Basically saying courts and public cannot hear key facts about her current state that could push to remove vent?? Hippa has kept cho mum, but now it makes sense - the family is also saying it's their privacy to not share her current condition but from "what they see she's still alive." So I can say, hmm the doctor has told me I don't need a face lift, but bc it's my privacy they can't tell them what they assessed and secondly "I see I'm wrinkled at 35!". Right? So no one can really contradict them. Damn the why am I trying to be a physician if my clinical judgement is null if a family feels they know more than me and then I cant prove my point.

smalls777 said...

Sorry for the 3rd post. Blood clot, or thrombus could be plausible. Anything involving the circulatory system gone wrong is plausible in jahis case since it relates to blood loss. This scenario went from nml to critical in the blink of an eye. Which is what people don't understand. One moment someone could be fine, the next, unconscious. It isn't without reason to think she was awake and then bled to death. Bc the body is still pretty mysterious and works oddly to overcome conditions. Like what I said, shutting down other organs to create more blood flow to brain (in the event the volume is limited). We usually don't have answers until AFTER the sentinel event, which is why an autopsy is key!! Sometimes, even an autopsy won't give us answer, just that it was her time to go. Her body couldn't handle the surgery.

And any other medical professionals, please add or correct me :)

one_blogger said...

Wow, that 'Dr. Paul Byrne' is a nutter. His rant doesn't even make sense.
He's obviously trying to make a supremely emotional appeal (especially for the overuse of Jahi's name) but sadly, it's all fiction. I have been hearing this going around about how the apnea test actually 'kills the patient' by depriving the brain of O2 and therefore, it's a flawed test and a conspiracy to get the organs. The fact that he lies in this rant over and over is shocking. He lies about the number of tests for a diagnosis of brain death (it's way more than apnea test). He says her heart beats despite the brain (duh) and he says her body temp and pressure is done by her thalamus, just like ours....(except ours are not dead, but her's is). He is just clever enough to confuse lay people. His statement that she's having urine and bowel 'movements' and is 'digesting' food is insane. It's already been established (and even if it weren't in court documents, everyone knows that after being dead for 1 month your body shuts down and insides leak outside) that her body was releasing gut material from her bowels. He never mentions all the criterion for clinical and legal brain death (or that 6 doctors confirmed it) he just continues his ruse.
I guess I am just shocked that people would do this just for financial gain and from religious fanaticism. It blows me away.
BTW, I'm an occupational therapist with over a decade of work in SNF's so I have a firm grasp on the science and have seen my share of horror stories but this takes the cake.

one_blogger said...

Oh, and that clip from the hairdresser from 'new beginnings' from fox news was unbelievable. She doesn't even know what she's talking about--(of course, she doesn't really have a facility licensed to take vent patients because she only rents 'space' to 'therapists' and the building isn't even open). She says she has 'occupational therapists' for using some kind of oxygen?! I'm an OTR/L and we don't use O2 as a modality, ever.
What I don't understand is how she can say she has this place yet really doesn't? I have no clue about legal issues but it seems to me this is illegal on the basis of misrepresentation....especially if money exchanges hands.
Just my 5 cents....(more than 2 cents since I posted before....).

Sprocket said...

The statements in Dolan's motions, where the family said this happened then this happened then this happened, are all self serving.

In my humble opinion, you can't trust these statements.

All these crazy people making wild accusations are getting exactly what they want: media attention. For them, it's free advertizing is what it is.

JMHO.

This is why they say these things. Agenda, people. Agenda.

CaliGirl9 said...

g kuzima

Your scenario certainly could have happened, but it’s not as likely as the two I put out there.
Jahi was no doubt on a cardiac monitor, and possibly a pulse oximeter. When a person has a heart attack, there are changes on the EKG that indicate the heart muscle is being damaged. There will also be changes in the cardiac rhythm as the code progresses.
Because I am so skeptical at anything offered by the family, what do we really know about this code? Was it a respiratory arrest first, treated by airway management? Or was it cardiac arrhythmias and eventual arrest due to hypovolemia? Was one of the cardiac rhythms ventricular fibrillation, treated by shocking? Or was she absent of a cardiac rhythm, asystole, treated by isuprel? How long was she pulseless, or without adequate blood flow to the brain? Did her anatomy and obesity contribute to difficulty in securing an airway?
We just don’t know… we may never know. But we can make educated guesses.
I do remember a bit of bleeding is normal post tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy. We’d keep an eye on the kid, keeping track of how much blood was gently trickle-spit into an emesis basin, even weighing Kleenex if need be to better estimate blood loss. The most important thing we did as nurses was NOT overreact and scare the child or the parent. Under no circumstances do I remember bright blood coming from normal post-op oozing. It was imperative that the child not suck on a straw or actively cough. When we nurses suctioned the child it was MANDITORY that the child did NOT close his or her lips on the Yankaeur suction tip. The whole thing with Jahi may well have been a result of her closing her lips on the suction tip, which I am certain is NOT what nurses instructed, if they instructed the family to suction at all.

g kuzma said...

thank you everyone. im understanding better now.

:)

Kimberly said...

Found this blog that in the January 9, 2014 post is called for the Medical Board of California to investigate the clinicians who allegedly inserted the feeding tube and did the tracheotomy. I use the term allegedly because I have a hard time believing any statements out of this family.

http://medicalfutility.blogspot.com/

Sprocket said...

Morning T&T readers!

I've updated the Jahi McMath Quick Links Page with a few links.

Later today, I'll be reviewing the last three days of comments for relevant links to add.

Thank you everyone, for contributing to the conversation and for reading T&T!
Sprocket

Anonymous said...

New article for today:
http://www.christiancentury.org/blogs/archive/2014-01/jahi-mcmath-and-bodies-children

Anonymous said...

Is Dolan's federal complaint enough to justify Rule 11(b) sanctions in your opinion? To me, it seems to be at least borderline frivolous, between the fourth amendment claims, the suggestion that death is a disability for ADA and rehabilitation act purposes, etc.

Anonymous said...

A question for the legal folk

If jahi's body has been or is in future moved to New Jersey where there are religious exemptions for recognition of brain death, does that mean she would be legally alive again?

Anonymous said...

People trying to sell "new" kinds of insurance in the wake of this tragedy:
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11484198.htm

Anonymous said...

On a Facebook page entitled Team Jahi: A Family In Denial, someone has pieced together from various Twitter accounts that Jahi seems to be at a house in Oakland. It's a fairly recent posting so it's easy to find. You have to scroll down all the posting to see what individuals have actually posted as to her whereabouts.

Anonymous said...

@Sprocket - regarding the Alameda County Coroner's role in the McMath case. On the SJ Merc site that I have been tracking/commenting on, we had someone who had worked in a hospital on cases where the patient was a potential organ donor, and the procedure when the patient is declared dead. This person pointed out that the coroner has a key role in supervising what happens to dead bodies. Apparently, the rules governing the handling of the body are covered in the CA Codes. A dead body has to be released either to the coroner or to a licensed mortician. A family can have the body for a limited period for religious observances, but then have to return the body for proper disposal. Apparently, in this case, the McMath family was able to negotiate something with the coroner for them to have possession of the body under somewhat extraordinary circumstances, i.e., they keep it until the heart ceases beating. I preface this by saying I am not a lawyer or a doctor, and I have no experience in these cases. However, logic tells me that, given the rather rigid proscription in law for how dead bodies are to be handled, a) the coroner knows where the body is (unless they agreed to allow it to be transported out of state; b) if it is still in state, that there is a protocol established for enabling the coroner to verify the status of the body such that when the heart stops, the coroner can assure proper disposal. This is all a guess though. Thanks for the great blog.

Anonymous said...

New article on the politics of brain death:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24877-mcmath-and-munoz-cases-challenge-definition-of-death.html#.Utbt-fasOXz

Anonymous said...

Ugh, another bottom-feeding publicity hound has appeared.
What in the world makes that jackass attorney in the link at 10:15 think that long term care insurance would pay out after death? Life insurance, sure, but you have to present a death certificate to file a claim, and I'd bet good money this claim would be held until cause of death is determined. (Insurance companies have to rule out suicide on certain policies, and make sure they arent paying out to the killer where the insured has been murdered.)

Anonymous said...

Because this situation isn't
strange enough https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/publicly-address-inhumane-treatment-jahi-mcmath-and-protect-her-life-accordance-her-1st8th-amendment/M5GJMX7T

Anonymous said...

New LA Times Article:
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-daum-jahi-mcmath-brain-death---media-20140116,0,4738876.column

Anonymous said...

A new op-ed by A Catholic Bishop in Kansas City:
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/kansas-city-bishop-pens-passionate-defense-of-life-in-response-to-jahi-mcma?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LifesitenewscomLatestHeadlines+%28LifeSiteNews.com+Latest+Headlines%29

Anonymous said...

Attorney Chris Dolan speaks on Huffpost live today and says that there is still hope:
http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/archive/segment/mcmath-family-lawyer-discusses-potential-to-take-jahi-off-ventilator/52d6fd0c78c90a2f7000013d

g kuzma said...

Un the HuffPost video cited by Anon at 5:57 pm on 1/15/14, Attorney Chris Dolan begins by stating that he is not a doctor, therefore won't and can't give a medical opinion, yet he refuses to respect the medical opinion of the many doctors who were involved in Jahi's treatment. That means that no one is allowed to have an authoritative opinion about Jahi's potential for recovery, except apparently her mother, who is actually in the worst position to have an objective opinion because she was so very close to Jahi!

Also, when the doctor's stated that Jahi is dead, that was not - as Dolan claims - disrespecting her family's religious beliefs, it was merely stating a scientific fact that her family refused to accept.

As I've said elsewhere, Jahi's family and attorney are basically claiming that God expects us to forcibly and artificially maintain dead bodies indefinitely as proof of our belief in his ability to resurrect them. I ask Dolan and Jahi's family to point to any established theology in support of this contention.

I have never heard anyone else in any religion say that God expects us to spend our emotional, financial and societal resources maintaining dead bodies in a physiological limbo just to give Him an extended opportunity to resurrect them.

Given that this belief is unique the Jahi's family, and has no basis in any religion, neither the hospital nor the court nor the media have an obligation to bend to this view and commit their resources to Jahi's family's wishes.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand how the family's religious rights were violated by CHO telling them their daughter was dead. IMO, the hospital's rights were violated by having to take care of a dead body. Surely, that violated the staff's beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Up thread, someone kindly posted the latest at LAT, an opinion piece by a writer, Daum.

Although too mild (imo), it did begin to forthrightly discuss the mess we are in. And to lay some blame on the terrible bad horrible reporting on this case...

I sense, reading comment threads in California papers (I am in San Francisco) a rising rage over this, people want it ENDED. Stopped.

It is utterly appalling that people like the Mcmath/Winkfield/Sealey/Chatman crew and their atty Dolan can be so coddled and pandered to by the system.

Just claim ''religion'' (even tho you offer no connection to tenets of, say, Ultra Orthodox Judaism - and I don't even agree in that exception, to be frank) and, like a carcinogenic maraschino cherry on top, heap on claims of racism, violations of your Civil Rights, and people fade away from dealing with you...

Ridiculous. People are long since out of sympathy for these people.

Marisacat
San Francisco

smalls777 said...

In Kimberly's post about a blog calling for investigation of MDs who may have done trach and g tube, a commenter said she did some research and found that via affidavit and via Twitter, the name Dr. David Hammons, has been thrown as the potential MD who performed these surgeries. Retired from Santa Clara with access to two hospitals.

Anonymous said...

First of all, thank you for all of the research and for all of the in-depth coverage of this extremely frustrating case. I have been reading your blog since before this case and have been glued to it since Jahi's saga started.

I agree with Marisacat and a host of others who state sympathy for this family has run it's course.

While we are all frustrated with the HIPAA regulations that forbid the hospital from defending itself, the lack of current information, and the idiocy of those who just cannot understand that dead is really dead, I am thinking that a good laugh may be just the frustration breaker some of us need. I had that thought when I come upon this nugget of moronic-ness (I know that isn't a word, but there is no word for this). This person (who very possibly may be brain dead himself) basically states that Jahi's body has gone into some primitive mode where it is able to shut down it's "non-essential systems of the body--including the brain and brainstem" in order to heal(that is actually a quote!) and that she is able to do it because she is a child and the bond with her mother will take over where the brain left off, so she really needs no functioning brain! Not kidding folks, this joker filed it with the court. He goes on to say that Winkfield is able to sustain the child through some never before documented communication and energy field that he names systems biology.
You really do have to read this thing to believe it:
http://www.re-newsit.com/2014/01/jahi-mcmath-amicus-brief-filed-january.html

I'm sorry, this is the first time I have actually laughed about this case and I just had to share!




g kuzma said...

Anon posted a link to one of the most bizarre documents I have ever read - an Amicus brief filed in Jahi's California case by a "trauma bodywork specialist" who has no relation to the family. It was posted for humorous purposes, which were served! Wow. I am truly dumbfounded. Once again, reality proves stranger than fiction.

Anonymous said...

VF here -

I've been ill and unable to follow comments and such closely. From skimming the comments, it looks like there are a lot of questions about the representations made by Mr. Dolan in the court documents, and whether it's an ethical violation to knowingly put false information before the court.

The short answer is "yes", it's an ethical violation to knowingly lie to the court. There is a big "but" attached to that though.

I do think Mr. Dolan is very carefully treading the line between zealous advocacy for his clients and ethical violation, but I don't think he's crossed it. As long as he can rely on experts who support his assertions, however ridiculous, he's on the right side of that line. Is it disingenuous? Yes. Legal? Yes.

This is only my opinion as I'm not an expert in legal ethics, beyond what all attorneys have to do to sit for the bar, so others may disagree.

Anonymous said...

CaliGirl - to answer your question, no. Trial court rulings typically don't set precedent. I also think the trial court was very careful in pointing out that the ONLY reason he was entertaining the appointment of an independent doctor to verify brain death was because of the allegations of conflict of interest against the hospital. He was pretty clear that it was doctors who made the decision of brain death, and courts who simply reviewed whether their decision met the requirements of CA law.

Will this allow the issue to be raised by other attorneys? You betcha. Does that mean the decision will be followed? Notsomuch. Other courts aren't obligated to follow the ruling made by this state trial court.

-VF

Anonymous said...

One final point before I get my kids off to school -
Much of what we're reading in these legal documents, the memoranda of points and authorities - are really advocacy: presenting the facts that are most in support of your client's position and applying the law in a manner that favors that client.

The arguments in these documents shouldn't be taken as the full truth, or the full fact set. Anything detrimental to your client would be glossed over.

Hope this clarifies a bit more.

-VF

Sprocket said...

My understanding is, typically precedent is set at the appellate court and higher level.

When a case is reviewed by an appellate or higher court, and the higher court either affirms or overturns a lower courts decision that sets it.

Those decisions are then published. They've set precedent.

These are the cases that are cited when counsel write motions to interpret the law that supports their position.

If VF has better knowledge, or can explain it better, please chime in when you can.

The appeal process is how cases get to higher courts. Cases can be appealed beyond the state level (in Cali, California Supreme Ct) to the US Supreme Court.

Recommended reading:

Jeffrey Toobin's The Nine - Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.

Fascinating stuff.

From inside the paperback:

"The Nine not only provides a vivid narrative history of the Court's recent history, but also give the reader an intimate look at individual justices, showing how personality, judicial philosophy and personal alliances can inform decisions that have huge consequences for the entire country . . .Driven by the author's assured narrative voice, The Nine is as informative as it is fascinating, as insightful as it is readable." (by Michiko Katutani, The New York Times

Anonymous said...

Finally, a media outlet calls a spade a spade"

Anonymous said...

Good morning Sprocket. Good morning, all. Here is an article from the online blog of the New Yorker on the controversies surrounding brain death:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/01/lights-out-a-new-reckoning-for-brain-death.html

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the New Yorker blog article I just tried to post sounds like it is written by an ardent disciple of Paul Byrne.

Sprocket said...

How to post a webpage as a hyperlink in comments:

REPLACE the { and } with < and >

There are only four characters that you have to replace. Two { { and two } }.

{a href="http://sprocket-trials.blogspot.com/2014/01/legal-history-of-jahi-mcmath-case.html"}Legal History of the Jahi McMath Case{/a}

So to review, it's not that difficult.

Beginning code:

{a href="

the URL goes right after the beginning quote "

Then there's a bit more code after the URL:

"}

Then you write what words you want to appear in the hyperlink:

TITLE OF ARTICLE

Then there is the last, closing code:

{/a}

And that's it!

Remember: REPLACE the symbols { and } with < and >

and this is what you will see:

Legal History of the Jahi McMath Case


The New Yorker - Lights Out: A new reckoning for brain death

Sprocket

Anonymous said...

I found this quote to be interesting - Dolan said it yesterday,

"I don’t think you can separate the family’s beliefs from the family’s hopes. And I think that the context of this case as it happened during the holiday season, the Christmas season for them, is important, because we were praying to a god who brought his son here by a miracle, who then committed miracles including raising of the dead, who died and was resurrected by a miracle. So when you bring in their beliefs as Christian beliefs, you have to call your own beliefs into question and wonder, ‘Do we practice a fiction, which is that miracles happened only once, a long time ago? Or do we practice a real belief?"

Jahi McMath Lawyer: ‘There’s Always Hope’

It's absurd to say hopes and beliefs are not separate.

-Cherlyn (I hope I did that link right)

Sprocket said...

Great job Anon @ 10:08 AM!

I should have mentioned this in my primer. I would only add, source of article, which is KQED or, PBS Station.

1/15/14 KQED/PBS - Jahi McMath Lawyer: There's always hope

Janet Eastman said...

Several things really bother me about this case. First, I think it is going to make an already difficult job harder for all the hospital doctors, nurses and other professionals who have to deal with cases like this every day. It can't be easy to have to give a family the worst possible news about their loved ones. Now with all the so-called experts telling the public that dead isn't actually dead, I think doctors are going to get more push back from the families. Being required by the court to "treat" a deceased patient must also be terrible for the morale of everyone in the hospital. Who is going to want to work in those conditions? I certainly could not handle it!

Second, it angers me that at the same time people are complaining about expanding Medicaid coverage for poor children through ACA, they are also insisting that medical resources be wasted treating a deceased child. Do these folks not see the contradiction? We don't want to pay to treat living children who can actually benefit from medical care, but hey, let's spend tens of thousands on one deceased child.

Finally, holy cow, do we need better science education in schools, or what?! I am shocked that any school administrator would tell children that a person can come back from being dead. I am even more shocked that so many people who are posting comments on other sites don't seem to understand how the human body operates, or that you actually need your brain to live. Sorry to sound snarky, but the lack of knowledge is mind boggling!

Sprocket said...

Janet:

I don't think anything has changed as far as the policies of Children's Hosptial, or any other hospital. Children's Hospital Oakland, from what I've read, bent over backwards and jumped through many circus hoops to accommodate this family's demands /grief.

The rulings in this case, IMHO, will not impact future rulings in California (or any other states) in cases where, a family asks a court for intervention in removing a vent.

This family chose to make their sad loss public. Personally, that's the only thing that's different here.

All the talking heads, with messages about "there's still hope" "brain dead people can recover" "brain dead people are still alive," are all pushing an agenda /belief on others.

They are using this case, to get free publicity for their particular agenda. That's nothing new, IMHO.


Anonymous said...

Sprocket, thank you for the second round of instructions on posting web pages. Apologies for feeling a bit technologically challenged right now, and therefore will try out the code another time. Meanwhile here is a new article in the LA Times: http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-78910678/

Dave Erickson said...

@Sprocket - Do you know whether the deal that was made with the coroner to let the family have the body is a matter of public record? Because, from what I understand, "giving" a dead body to the family to keep for as long as they like is a violation of the CA Health Code. CA Codes 7100-7117> See Section 7102-7103 for example.

Anonymous said...

This comment by Dolan is interesting: "So when you bring in their beliefs as Christian beliefs, you have to call your own beliefs into question and wonder, ‘Do we practice a fiction, which is that miracles happened only once, a long time ago? Or do we practice a real belief?"

He's not talking about a miracle, he's talking about a resurrection. Miracles do happen. I happen to think I was on the receiving end of one some years ago. But I have not heard of any resurrections since Biblical times.

Sprocket said...

I don't know that the coroner is "required" to tell the general public, where a decedent's body is, once it's been released to the family. Does it say that in the code, that the coroner is "required" to make the location of decedent's bodies, public?

However, not knowing, I'm betting the coroner knows where the family intended to take the body. JMHO.

I'm betting the coroner followed the law, in his jurisdiction. JMHO.

Anonymous said...

new articl: http://www.centrictv.com/whats-good/good-living/2014/01/16/the-jahi-mcmath-saga-is-the-media-creating-false-hope.html

Anonymous said...

Has there been any mention about bio-dad and his involvement and/or feelings about this?

It just occurred to me I don't recall seeing a single mention of him besides his name on Wikipedia....

Anonymous said...

For Anonymous at 2:48.....

I forget where I heard or read it, as it was way back, nearer the beginning of this mess, but biological father (Milton Mcmath) is in Corcoran state prison.

A few days ago I googled trying to find that specific reference and nothing came up BUT what did come up (and I saved no links, sorry but it is findable online) is that he and another man, Dedrick Shavers (iirc, the last name) were arrested in about 2004 and sued City of Oakland and named officers for hmm forget the exact charge, but abuse of authority at the time of their arrest.

It moved slowly thru the system - and a couple of years later the city council offered 50K to him alone and it was accepted. He was represented by the John Buris firm.... and my guess would be out of 50K minus contingency fee and costs, he got little or nothing out of that.

What he is in Corcoran for doing, if he went following that arrest or a later one, the why of his arrest - or what his record is, I have no idea.

BTW, it appears, again from online and I saved no links, mother married winkfield last year, or 2012. I have not bothered to poke around much, but there probably is stuff online for Latasha Nailah SPEARS - Latasha N Spears - which I guess she was using previous to the Winkfield marriage.

There manage to be so many names in this, it gets confusing.

Marisacat
San Francisco

Anonymous said...

I probably wrong, but I think I saw a picture of Milton McMath (bio dad) standing my Mrs. Winkfield and the uncle. It was a recent pic so I'm thinking he might be out of prison.

Anonymous said...

Here's the memo regarding the City of Oakland's settlement with McMath.

http://clerkwebsvr1.oaklandnet.com/attachments/14806.pdf

Sprocket said...

I checked the State of California Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation's Inmate Locator Website.

There is no "Milton McMath" in their system.

If he is incarcerated, he could be in a county level system and not state.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 3:57pm,

I did some googling and found that as well.

Anonymous said...

Sprocket: I checked the State of California Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation's Inmate Locator Website.

There is no "Milton McMath" in their system.

****


Sounds like he, Milton M, is out or was sent to a local jail somewhere. I suppose that easily could be with the overcrowding issues.

If he is out, I am surprised he has not joined this strange procession.

Marisacat

Anonymous said...

I don't think Milton McMath is incarcerated. He was at the early press conference and then disappeared. Maybe he believed Dr. Fisher.He is in the photos with this article.
http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Tonsil-surgery-patient-to-remain-on-life-support-5072376.php

Anonymous said...

I blame the judge for this farce. The child is dead according to California law - I don't understand why he ever issued the TRO?

Anonymous said...

New article by Terri Schiavo's brother in the Washington Times where he claims that Jahi is in their care, but does not mention where:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/16/schindler-my-sister-terri-schiavo-was-alive-like-j/?page=all#pagebreak

Anonymous said...

I read the article by Schiavo's brother. ***facepalm***

Anonymous said...

FWIW, the Megan Daum opinion piece in the LA Times has caused Omari Sealey to react:



Omari ‏@_iamOMARI 7h
@meghan_daum Your article was both insensitive & cruel. I pray you never experience what my family & I endured.


***

I've stayed away from the various social media accounts of the family members, but it was copied to the thread at the LAT.

Marisacat

Anonymous said...

Is it possible for the family to end this in secret? When her body gives out and they have a funeral is it subject to any public record since the death certificate has already been issued?

Sprocket said...

I don't know of any law, where the coroner is required to release that information.

It may only come out through leaks from where she was buried/cremated.

It will be interesting to see what lawsuits come out of this. Even then we may not know the whole story.

It's also possible the family could settle with the hospital and that settlement sealed. If that happens, the general public may never know what happened during surgery and post-op.

This is JMHO, (I know no insider knowledge to base this on) but I believe the family knows how/why Jahi started bleeding post op, and what ultimately caused that, because I believe the hospital told them. Again, JMHO.

Hopefully, those with more knowledge about the laws governing the coroner's office will offer some insights.

I personally don't believe the coroner has violated the law in this case.

Anonymous said...

@Marisacat

I think his use of the past tense "endured" is very revealing. Maybe he has come to terms with the situation somewhat.

- Cherlyn

one_blogger said...

Question for all you cyberspace blogger Ph.D's...I was commenting (and taking time to be insightful too) on LifeSiteNews and they kicked me off the site after deleting my comments simply because I had a different view. I was not rude or doing any kind of name calling, or using foul language.It does say they give 'preference' to people who share their 'agenda' but really? I guess free speech doesn't extend to the internet. Does anyone know if this is common? I'm very new to posting comments, (this was the first blog I've followed commented on as well). Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

One thing I noticed today in the LAT discussions thread to the Daum article, even tho Sealey has now publicized the article and his opinion of it to his followers on Twitter, only 3 new monikers, by my count, showed up to spew the family line.

For all I know they could be him and/or family members.

And they did it badly, fwiw.

What a mess this is and, as Sprocket mentions up thread a little, we may never get any resolution of this...

I hope eventually this family fades into the background and we never hear of them, any of them, again. I wish we might get that lucky....

I think the judge made a huge mistake giving them anything more than a few short days. The sixth assessment from Dr. Fisher, more than two weeks post surgery, should have finished it. IMO.

Marisacat

Anonymous said...

The thing about believing anything this family says or reading a faint glimmer of sanity - or, in fact DECENCY - into anything this family says or posts is that it is futile, in my opinion.

A commenter at LAT has posted this (I just cannot bear to go directly to any of the family member's social media):


pkbutrfli at 2:07 PM January 17, 2014
@Mitzy

Omari is now tweeting that Jahi is doing better - "In other news...Jahi is doing very well!! Her conditioned has really improved since leaving CHO on January 5th."

That should warm your heart.

****

Marisacat

one_blogger said...

@Marisacat, I agree. I do think the family is actively involved in shaping the context and info on their 'story'.
BTW, the site I was talking about, LifeSiteNews had a new poster there who said he/she was reading up on here and had some negative things to say about all of 'us'. Of course, I can't make any comments anymore so...bummer. It really is a 'war' of the control of information. Fascinating, exciting and awful. It does astonish me that what appears to be a 'free exchange of information' is really a censored and completely controlled format. It's clear when you don't see balanced exchange of opinions--it's completely one sided yet it's a 'newspaper site'.

Tanya said...

Omari's twitter account is no longer public.

Unknown said...

It really is a 'war' of the control of information. - one blogger

yes, absolutely. And that war is across the internet, at sites that accept comments.

Marisacat

Sprocket said...

Life Site News is definitely a "niche" market. I would NOT consider them mainstream media by any stretch of the imagination.

T&T is also a "news" source, but T&T's market is limited to murder trials and crimes involving children.

Occasionally, a T&T contributor will go outside that focus to write about a subject that particular writer is passionate about. That's what CaliGirl9 did, and how T&T now has a new group of readers.

T&T's comment policy is conservative compared to the mainstream press. I would speculate that Life Site News' regular readers, do not want to see opposing viewpoints in the comments. JMHO. They're allowed to do that. It's their web site.

Life Site News states they are a non-profit. They also have an agenda, and a market that they direct their stories/news to. That's not unusual.

Here's a quote from their "ABOUT" Page:

"LifeSiteNews.com is a non-profit Internet service dedicated to issues of culture, life, and family. It was launched in September 1997. LifeSiteNews Daily News reports and information pages are used by numerous organizations and publications, educators, professionals and political, religious and life and family organization leaders and grassroots people across North America and internationally.

LifeSiteNews.com Daily News reports are widely circulated reports on important developments in the United States, Canada and around the world. Their purpose is to provide balance and more accurate coverage on culture, life and family matters than is usually given by other media. Available by free daily email subscription and on LifeSiteNews.com."


When you come across a purported news web site that is not mainstream, it's always helpful to read the ABOUT page. That way you can be more informed about evaluating the content of the web site.

Hope this is helpful to you one_blogger.

Anonymous said...

fwiw, according to posters at the LAT Daum discussion thread, Sealey has now "restricted" his Twitter acct, and people say he was "blasted" today in tweets.

There is speculation he may want to hide some of his earlier tweets. I should think attys for CHO have screen shots of it all.

I once went thru his Twitter site, maybe a week or more ago, I went thru what is believed to be the Twitter of the eldest child of Nailah, again once... and a believed to b cousin of Jahi's, think her Twitter acct was ReeReesWorld, something like that.

It was enough for me.

Marisacat

Anonymous said...

@Marisicat

No that's me (pkbutrfli). That was a statement he made public before he went private. I never contacted him. I'm not that aggressive :)

It's strange that he wouldn't say that for his very first post of the day. He took the time to respond to people before he tweeted that.

Some of the tweets to him were utterly harsh. I think he put that statement up in defense of his wounded pride.

- Cherlyn

Anonymous said...

Hi Cherlyn/pkbutrfli ;)

Oh I never thought you contacted him directly. I cannot imagine contacting this sort of people directly. If only because they are so clearly (imo) unstable. To put it mildly.

what a shame any/all of this happened.

Marisacat

Sprocket said...

one_blogger:

On the Internet, "free speech" is relative. If you own your own web site, you can pretty much say whatever you want, post images of whatever you want. You get to have your own voice.

When it comes to web sites maintained by others, it's not as "free" as if you owned the site yourself.

It basically depends on the host/owner of the web site and what their policy might be. The web site might leave comment monitoring up to the individual who originally published the story. Is the web site you are referring to a mainstream media site, or is it privately owned, like T&T is?

Many mainstream media organizations (CNN, ABC, Huff Post, Fox, etc.) still monitor comments to filter out excessive, foul language or hate speech, but usually publish opposing views and strange ramblings, etc.

Gawker publishes everything I think.

Just because a web site offers to their readers, the ability to leave comments, does not necessarily mean that they have to approve your comment.

So is it common? I'd say yes. Just because the web site offers you the ability to discuss an article, doesn't mean they are obligated to publish your views.

I monitor comments for this very same reason. I'm not obligated to support hate speech against a defendant whose trial I might be covering.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I found this blog to be most fair and comprehensive than the so-called news coverage of this disturbing story.

I am a pediatric ICU RN who is also currently in a doctorate program to become a nurse practitioner, or DNP as it is called. I also still work in the SF Bay Area at a major children's hospital, in fact one of my colleagues works part-time at CHO as well as on a per diem basis at my hospital. I did manage to ask her questions about the McMath case, because I thought she would give a truthful account of the circus atmosphere surrounding the family and CHO.

This is what my colleague, an experienced ICU RN at CHO told me. She did take care of Jahi a couple of times. Many RNs in that ICU refused assignment, in other words they asked not to be assigned to Jahi. Jahi's entire family, extended and immediate, spoke in disgustingly demeaning ways towards the RNs. My colleague said Jahi's mother was especially rude in the manner she spoke to and spoke about the RNs and physicians. The family members would disparage the RNs even while the RNs were at the bedside providing care for Jahi/ Jahi's body. Also the family was extremely loud and demanding. They were antagonistic towards the staff, especially the RNs since the RNs were constant presence at bedside. My colleague said she could not even have a conversation with or even look at Jahi' mother in the eyes, due to the mother's incredibly rude behavior and insulting words. CHO have been very supportive of the ICU RNs, the RNs were the ones being maligned in this circus event. Other hospitals and institutions around the nation had also provided support to these great RNs by sending food baskets. So that is a small comfort to these RNs who have been bad-mouthed by this incredibly selfish, entitled, and willfully ignorant family.

About the post-op complication. My colleague said Jahi was allowed and then given popsicle. The family did suction Jahi without given permission by staff to do so. I did not get to ask more in detail what contributed to her going into cardiac arrest and then coding. What I had gathered from my colleague's description is that it could have been uncontrolled or excessive hemorrhage leading to aspiration of blood into the lungs. In pediatric population, respiratory emergencies can and will have adverse cardiac sequelae such arrest, ventricular arrhythmias, etc...if the symptoms and causes are not able to be reversed or stabilized.


I am quite fascinated by this case because it is a local story, as well as the impact it has on perception of medical and nursing staff.







smalls777 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:20pm,

Thank you so much for sharing with us. This story is captivating.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 5:20

Thank you for posting. I feel so sorry for staff who had to attend this family... I wonder if you would consider x posting this at a site I have been reading all thru this mess:

www.allnurses.com

A link to the Jahi thread there.

Again, thanks. I did register at allnurses, in order to post a ''thank you''. But I don't want to x post your words....

Marisacat

Sprocket said...

Just a note here readers:

Usually, T&T does not approve comments that include links to other message boards/forums, or that promote other blogs or selling web sites (spam).

I will let this single link to All Nurses stand.

Thank you,
Sprocket

CaliGirl9 said...

Hi Anon @ 5:20!

Thank you for your insightful comment! I cannot even imagine how horrible it was for nurses to take care of Jahi’s body, with that family hovering, hoping to put the blame on someone, anyone but themselves.

On January 1, in the very first paragraph I wrote about this sad, sick affair, I described how I learned of this mess via a Facebook post criticizing the nurses for “not responding” to Jahi’s hemorrhage. I actually wrote “I will hold judgment until I know more.”

Sure, we’ve all had bad nurses. I could tell some scary stories about the spine ortho nurses at Seton in Daly City! But in my opinion, nurses who choose pediatrics as a specialty, and pediatric ICU as a sub-specialty, have a calling. They are there because they want to be there—they love children, they enjoy making a difference and helping sick or injured children on the path to restored health. If restored health is not to be, they work toward making every minute of the child’s life count. The day that nurse no longer has empathy for children or their families, they move to another specialty. I never could have, or would have, chosen that specialty.

I remember the feeling of helplessness—and even a bit of horror—when, during my second semester of nursing school I was assigned to care for an elderly woman on a ventilator who was in the process of being declared brain dead after choking on her breakfast 3 days before, suffering an unwitnessed cardiac arrest and subsequent “successful code.” I cared for her on the day of the second EEG. I hated assaulting her lungs by suctioning her secretions every hour, hated listening for bowel sounds where there were none, hated cleaning up the ooze from her intestines, constantly changing the chux underneath her. I hated having to spend hours writing up a nursing care plan for a deceased person who deserved her dignity and deserved better than to be student RN fodder. And that was just ONE 8-hour shift.

Those nurses dealt with this for weeks. Bless the nurses who knew they were not strong enough to accept the assignment of caring for Jahi (this may have saved their careers), and bless those who were strong enough to put up with the abuse. I hope all of the nurses in the PICU at CHO are given the opportunity, space and support for healing. I also hope that the truth comes out, exonerating the nurses and placing blame squarely where it needs to be placed—a non-compliant family with an overinflated sense of self-importance and deeply buried guilt for causing the error that killed Jahi.

I am also glad I withheld judgment at that first FB post. Looks like the family indeed is culpable. Someone poked around too much, or Jahi herself closed her mouth on the Yankaeur tip. The nurses’ notes are going to be critical, it’s that simple. I do hope that eye witnesses, in other words, families of other sick kids who saw Jahi’s family sneak food to her, come forward to testify if this ends up in court. I suspect that if the family is looking for a malpractice lawyer, that said lawyer is ethical enough to see the whole sad affair was caused by a family who thought they knew more than the experienced RNs on duty that day/evening, and tells the grifters to take a flying leap.

Best to you on your quest for a Ph.D.

Eva T said...

To the Anonymous ICU RN that just posted:

Thank you for the inside information into Jahi's room at CHO. I have tried to maintain an objective view as to the family's conduct. Hard to know what to believe out here in cyberworld. However, your comments have confirmed my suspicions. I don't know them personally but I have met many like them. It's not a matter of race. It's a case of feeling entitled. I'm a southern gal and we call this "showing your a*s". Tacky. I can say this because there is a branch in my own family tree that employ and act the same. Jahi's family has had their wish granted. I hope that watching her corpse decompose, rot and slough off her dying cells fulfills their every desire. Careful what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

oh I am sorry Sprocket. I neglected to ask...


Marisacat

Sprocket said...

Marisacat,

No apology needed. It's all good.

Usually, I just don't approve the comment and don't mention it. I approved this one because I know there are many nurses here who are contributing.

Comments at all Nurses have linked to T&T several times. That's appreciated.

one_blogger said...

@Sprocket
Thank you for answering my questions. It is always interesting learning how websites and internet newspaper forums work.
I didn't know anything about them (LifeSiteNews) other than when I too read the 'about' stuff but I don't know if they're privately owned...they do state they're non-profit.
(I didn't know T&T was privately owned either.)
I had thought people were kicked off sites if they were harassing others or using bad language but I learned that's not the case.
BTW, thank you for this site, it's really filled with many level-headed people whose information is invaluable (like the RN who just wrote about one of the RN's who cared for Jahi and dealt with the family. I believe her comments despite not having proof as of yet. We have to take everything we read and then make an educated guess...which is what I've done.
Anyway, thanks so much for your answers and your site!

one_blogger said...

Ps...as an OTR/L, I've also helped patients and/or families with very poor attitudes, or abusive attitudes toward the staff. The entitled-abusive behavior is the most difficult to work with. They are the rare ones, thankfully. I end up remembering the sweet ones the most. For example, one elderly lady I was rehabing (she had a hip replacement) made me crocheted potholders. I've kept them now for 8 years and think of her when I use them.
The take-away here is that most people are good. I guess we could all benefit from remembering this now.
~Peace!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much to all for all the information on this blog - so balanced and informative.

I do believe that Jahi is dead. If she was on SSI, surely those benefits stopped as of the day of her death per the death certificate. One thing that has bothered me is how she was in a PICU and she had bleeding and the story that her mother was given a bowl to collect the blood etc. Some said the mother/family etc were even suctioning. In this day of all the government mandated requirements for dealing with blood borne transmission of disease and all the other protocols for that as well as the fact that it was a PICU this does not ring true. A poster named Angel Herald posted a comment on the Jahi Facebook page describing her daughter's PICU experience at another hospital. I can't believe the nurses at OCH would let the family do all that the family said or if so, that would be some serious deviation from the basic standard of care required by the medical personnel. Any thoughts/comments on this?

Angel Herald: So this is what I can't wrap my brain around. My daughter had her tonsils and adenoids removed a year an a half ago. (she's 3 now) I remember it like it was yesterday. When I walked back to recovery she has her own private nurse sitting next to her monitoring her closely the whole time she was down there until she was moved. Every kid in there had one on one from someone assigned to them. She had to stay over night on a reg floor not the picu which brings me to my son who did have to stay in the picu. Same thing, had a nurse designated to only him which sat right next to his room along with a respiratory Therapist. They was constantly in his room with him an if there was just slight bit of concern the attending Dr was there in a matter of seconds. So how this got so out of control for this poor girl really makes me feel they was being flat out lazy that day. Maybe our children's hospital here in Cincinnati is different then others but I just assumed they was all the same took extra care an extra precautions because there main focus is innocent children. The ball should of never been dropped. I truly feel for this family. https://www.facebook.com/keepJahiMcmathonlifesupport

Sprocket said...

FWIW trivia:

There's been some chatter about the age of Jahi's mother, grandmother, siblings, etc., on other web sites.

I searched Jahi's older sister's name and found a few hits.

I thought this page might have accurate information.

As of 3/22/08, it has the older sister at 13 years old. Calculating forward, that would mean, through 3/22/14, she would be 19.
Sprocket

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 7:14 AM:

Thank you for your contribution. I have a few questions. When your child was in PIU, was that a separate room?

It's my understanding that CHO's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, has been described as a large room, with about 23-24 beds. If someone can give me a source that describes it differently, please help me with a source. It's my understanding that each patient/bed is separated by long drape /curtains.

Not every hospital is going to have the same layout or the exact same procedures in their specialized units. And there may be different staffing standards, depending on upper management /budgets, and/or the condition of the patient.
Sprocket

Anonymous said...

New article in Shreveport Times:
http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20140117/OPINION0106/301170020/Jahi-McMath-dead-s-time-let-her-go

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anon 5:20.

I was beginning to feel sorry for this family. When this began, I had visions of a demanding, loud mouthed, arrogant congregation of extended family at the hospital (I have neighbors like that... no they aren't black). I forgot the "type" of people I imagined them to be.

I am sorry for what your friend went through, and all the nurses. What a horrible experience. It bothers me that this family has tried to make your profession look so heartless and cold when I know for a fact nurses are some of the most compassionate people on earth.

Thank you for sharing that. There is much to be said about handling death with grace and maturity - it effects everyone involved.

- Cherlyn

Sprocket said...

one_blogger:

If you read T&T's ABOUT T&T Page, it tells you who "owns" T&T and how it got started.

Although I write under a moniker, "Sprocket," I am not anonymous. I use my real name in court and while reporting.

T&T's contributors (CaliGirl9, ritanita, KZ, David in TN) all choose to write under monikers, however, I know them all personally.

Misunderstandings in trivia, and definitions.
The word "blog" was a melding of the words "web" and "log." A blog in it's earliest meanings was like a journal.

Blogspot/Blogger (now owned by Google), makes it easy for anyone to start their own blog. T&T is hosted by Blogger.

You can read about the history of the word 'blog' on Wikipedia.

Before the even the infancy of the Internet, newspapers and magazines often had a "Letters" section where readers could write in. Not every letter a newspaper or magazine received was published. It was at the discretion of the Letters section Editor, what letters to publish.

With the advent of the Internet, news organizations now give readers the opportunity to comment, basically communicate with the author, on their articles/stories. The owners of each web site and/or article authors decide on which comments to publish.

That's how I see comments today, on mainstream media stories and on 'blogs.' The people who leave comments are no different than the people who long ago, wrote letters to a newspaper or magazine.

Wikipedia describes the word "Blogger."
Sprocket

Anonymous said...

@Anon @ 7:14 AM And Sprocket

I would also assume that the care of a child aged 1-1/2 compared to the care of a child aged 13 would be quite different as well.

-Cherlyn

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this informative site.

In my disbelief and anger over the family keeping this poor girl's body from getting the dignified burial she deserves, I tend to lose sight of the fact that a beautiful child was lost. The family has made such a circus out of her death that it has become so easy to remember that fact.

I pray that the family will soon realize what they've done to this poor girl's memory.

Anonymous said...

An interesting intervention by the Freedom from Religion non-profit questioning the legality of the Reems school assembly last week:
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fffrf.org%2Fuploads%2Flegal%2Foakland.pdf&h=HAQFI4w69AQG03qmg8hTJ6dTQUyzt6Cuwuohri2HvLcj94Q&enc=AZMiBH7Dr2bH5bwLALjvBlotK4FpHgF3b4bT234nCHZvaIKhLPBlexIX-T5leyv7ysTR-QMk3XM4x4StfBWUbsdV&s=1

Anonymous said...

The medical people on here may find this interesting -

"Brian Smith ‏@brian_sthecobra 14h

They are not able to confirm every brain cell dead when braindeath is declared. Some recovery is possible."

So they are counting brain cells now. Would 3 cells be enough?

- Cherlyn

Anonymous said...

I sent in a comment this AM that had a link - I am sorry I did not read all the previous posts as carefully as I should have and only added the link so that people could verify. I do appreciate that linking to some sites - including that Facebook page - would give the impression that you approve of the views expressed on that FB page. There are some pretty wild ones there and I would hate to have anyone think that about me. Anyway, I am sorry but I still cannot believe that the PICU staff could not have managed the Jahi's post operative care in the way that the family is portraying. Even the worst hospital in America has procedures in place for the collection and disposal of blood borne pathogens and they cannot leave the handling of any blood products to families. Also, I cannot see how a hospital would allow a medical procedure such as suctioning do be done by anyone other than hospital approved employees - way too risky. I know that hospitals and personnel are not perfect - mistakes happen and incompetence does occur, sometimes with tragic consequences which is horrible for the families involved and the public as well. But, the McMath/Winkfield version has too many holes in it

Anonymous said...

WRT the post at 8:15 am, when I tried to go to Facebook, they interrupted claiming it might be a malicious site.

So I went directly to the Freedom from Religion Foundation for the press release.

I'll post the link, but if Sprocket deletes, that is fine:

FFRF asks for probe...

Short version, FFRF has contacted the school district:


"The Freedom From Religion Foundation has contacted the Office of the General Counsel of Oakland Unified School District in the wake of complaints it received over the proselytizing nature of a recent assembly at E.C. Reems Academy, Oakland, Calif., intended to honor Jahi McMath. [...]"


Marisacat

Sprocket said...

T&T readers: If T&T approved your comment, everything is fine. Don't worry.

If you don't understand how to do HTML code to make a hyperlink, please don't worry about that either. <3

I've taken most of the links people have provided and put them on the Jahi McMath Quick Links Page

Understand, that some news stories are repeats, where another news organization has picked up the story. So if you don't see the "exact" same link, it may be in the quick links under a different title. That's how most of the PDF court documents are listed. They are listed under names that "I've" given them.

I believe FFRF is already on the Quick Links page, either in a news story or in another section.

Just because there is a link in the comments or the Quick Links page, doesn't necessarily mean T&T believes or approves of the information at the link.

It's provided so people can read the information, and form their own opinions.

I'm helping Mr. Sprocket organize the garage today. This is a big problem because Mr. Sprocket and the garage could easily be on an episode of extreme hoarders.

I'll check in periodically to approve comments.
Sprocket

Anonymous said...

Hi again. I am the RN commenter at 5:20 pm, the one with the colleague who took care of Jahi at CHO. Another thing I forgot to mention was that Dr. Flori, the director of PICU at CHO, had been singled out by my colleague for praise. Dr. Flori made sure the staff, especially the RNs since they bore the brunt of the family's abuse at bedside, were made to feel supported and valued. Contrary to what the McMath family represented, there weren't any conspiracies against them or in the care of Jahi. The nursing and medical staff had other patients in the ICU to take care of, the world within that ICU did not evolve around the McMath family.

Regarding the transfer of Jahi's body. My colleague told me it was done in a very hush-hush way. The transfer was only known to few staff. She said Jahi's body was transferred from CHO not via the usual route or entrance. She also said some PICU RNs were surprised to show up for work that day, and not see Jahi's body and family there. That was how secretive the transfer was planned out. She also doesn't know where Jahi's body was transferred to.

Another gory part of the sad story is how Jahi's body had started to slough off internally. My colleague said she had to change the chux/ diaper stained with liquified tissues of sloughing intestines. Dr. Flori gave credit to the RNs for taking such good care of Jahi's body. It is partly because of their care that the McMath family could not get reconcile the visual of Jahi's nice looking body in the ICU, from the medical truth of Jahi being very dead. Well, that and their willfull ignorance and entitled mindset.

On a side note, my colleague said that yes, Jahi's mother was proud of her nails as she bragged about them in conversations. My colleague was privy to bedside conversations the family had with each other, she couldn't help but hear what they were saying, they were so loud. Unfortunately she also had to endure the family, especially the mother, disparage the her and other RNs at every opportunity. They would talk trash to and about RNs even when RNs were turning Jahi's body, bathing it, changing chux and bed linens, in other words providing daily care to a brain dead body so that they, the family, could keep on giving news conferences about how "alive" Jahi looks to them.











Sprocket said...

{{{Thank you}}} for the note one_blogger.

If anyone would like to write me privately, you can do so at:

sprocket.trials AT gmail.com

Dave Erickson said...

If you are interested I can post the communications I've had with the school regarding these issues.

Sprocket said...

Dave,
Whatever you are willing to share to give context, will be most appreciative.

Dave Erickson said...

As I understand the sequence, the family had been given a basin and a suction device and told they could manage the bleeding. This was in the recovery room. At some point after the bleeding became profuse, she was moved into the ICU. What's not clear to me is whether it is normal for the family to be authorized to use a suction device, and when she would have been moved into the ICU, either before our after her heart stopped. Do you know the standard practice?

Sprocket said...

Dave,
I personally don't. We have not had someone who works at CHO, detailing their policies/procedures chime in yet.

The information we have so far is second hand.

Dave Erickson said...

Here is an email I originally sent to the members of the EC Reems academy school board. I got their addresses off the school website:

Dear Ms. Bradford,
I am writing to express my concern about the statements of Ms Lisa Blair reported on NBC Bay Area:
NBC Bay Area Report on Activities at EC Reems Academy

I am also concerned about the overtly religious overtones of the activities being conducted at the school with regard to the unfortunate demise of one of the students there.

Ms. Blair was quoted in this article as follows:
“The academy's chief operating officer Lisa Blair said she has tried to honor Jahi's family's wishes by telling students that their classmate may still be alive, even though doctors say she is legally and clinically dead.
The students responded with an outpouring of faith.
“Most kids are Christian here,” Blair said, “and they believe that if you continue praying, there’s always a possibility. The students understand the debate. They’re just choosing spirituality over science.”
Blair visited Children's Hospital Oakland on Jan. 5, just after Jahi's family won a court battle to keep the girl on life support and transfer her elsewhere. Blair said she "saw something” on that visit that made her believe Jahi, a quiet student who was recently elected to be a judge on student council, was not truly dead.”
First, I find it appalling that Ms Blair would publicly and to her students express the absurd opinion that this deceased person “may still be alive.” This deceased person is most certainly not alive. It is outrageous that the principal of a school receiving public funding is both expressing and supporting a view that is contrary to both medical and legal opinion. The basis for this view appears to be a religious one, which is being actively promoted in the school.
I find this conduct, and the activities supported and promoted by the school to “Pray for Jahi” is both unconstitutional, and is actually harming the students by creating a false belief that perhaps this unfortunate person might somehow recover. This is utterly impossible, and it is irresponsible for the principal to promote this fantastic notion.
What about the families that attend this school that do not share these beliefs? Are their views being honored or discussed? And what about the medical facts of the case? Is there any attempt at all to try to educate the children as to what is actually happening here?
I find this to be an utterly unconscionable abuse of the public education system. I think a review of the principal’s conduct and the activities of the school is entirely in order.

Dave Erickson
Sebastopol, CA

Dave Erickson said...

I didn't get a response from them, so I contacted the Oakland Unified School District superintendent. He wrote back to me (right away) and said they had no oversight authority and it was up to the board, but that he had forwarded my email to them. That was this past Monday 1/13.

I didn't hear anything at all until Friday afternoon 1/17, when I got this email:

From: Paul Organ [mailto:porgan.reemsacademy@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, January 17, 2014 2:52 PM
To: Dave Erickson; Paul Organ; Lisa Blair; adrienneshelton@hotmail.com
Subject: Requesting confirmation on Participation in Initial Investigation of EC Reems Complaint

Mr. Erickson:

Due to the confusion I created sending the email to the wrong address, I am sending this separate (redundant) email to determine if you will be attending the initial Investigative Meeting scheduled for today at 6pm regarding your complaint, either in person or by conference call.

If you are unable to participate today you may request that the Investigative Meeting be rescheduled, as per our Uniform Complaint Procedure.

Please confirm your participation (or unavailability) as soon as possible so that our Ombudsman and others can make the necessary arrangements to be available at 6pm.

Thank you in advance for a prompt response.

Dr. Paul Organ
Principal
EC Reems Academy

Dave Erickson said...

I found this odd for a couple of reasons: Never heard anything about any investigation; I didn't file a complaint pursuant to the CA Charter School Uniform Complaint Procedure.

They contacted me at the last minute, asking me to participate in a procedure that I had not requested without any guidelines for my participation. Strange.

So I wrote back and said it was not convenient, and that I needed more information about what they wanted me to do, expecting to get an answer back right away. I still haven't heard anything.

I got confirmation from the OUSD Charter Office that this was legitimate.

Dave Erickson said...

Finally, after thinking about this somewhat surprising turn of events some more, I wrote the following to Dr. Paul Organ, who has apparently succeeded Lisa Blair as principal of EC Reems Academy (forgive me if this is too much). I have not received a response.

Dr. Organ,
I was somewhat surprised by your request to participate in an investigation related to the Uniform Complaint Procedure. My original email to the board of the EC Reems Academy was not filed pursuant to this procedure, as I understand it.

My intent in sending my original email was to express displeasure that an official of the EC Reems Academy, a California Charter School, had taken a public position that was contrary to legal and professional opinion in a highly controversial case involving a former student. I was also concerned about the possibility that a coercive environment was being created in the school regarding a particular religious practice (prayer) that might be creating a hostile environment for students choosing not to participate.

I want to make a few things clear here.
1. I am concerned that a public institution (EC Reems Academy) does not violate the constitutional separation of church and state.
2. I am concerned that an official of the school appears to be expressing an opinion to the students that is contrary to law and to science.

That’s it. That being said, I would also like to express the following:
1. I have nothing but sympathy for the family of the former student, and my heart goes out to all those who were involved with this family and this sad case.
2. I understand the sensitivity of the position of the school regarding the actions of the family of the former student.
3. I am not a resident of Oakland, but from what I can tell, the EC Reems Academy is respected in the community and has done good work for the students.

I want you to understand that I recognize that this is not my fight. The only skin I have in this game is as a California taxpayer, an ardent supporter of the Constitutional separation of church and state, and an advocate of the need for public educational institutions to support the law and science. The findings of medical science, and the associated legal implications are very clear in this case, regardless of the position of the family.

My feeling, and the intent of my original email, was that the Oakland Unified School District, the Office of Charter Schools, and ultimately, the board of the EC Reems Academy, need to look very carefully at the role you are playing in this controversial case, vis-à-vis your students. You are not a private religious academy. You have a responsibility to educate your students about science and the law. You have a responsibility to refrain from using public funds to promote a particular religion.

My hope, and I’m sure yours as well, is that the school can continue doing its good work for the children and the community, and that everyone will be able to put the sad case of Jahi’s family in proper perspective.

Thank you for all you do for the children.


Suzie said...

Dave, I'm curious where you got your information. In the documents, Dolan says she was fine in recovery and the bleeding only became a problem in the PICU, and within minutes of the bleeding becoming profuse, she went into cardiac arrest. (I'm not saying this is what happened, only what Dolan has said.)

Re: letters to the editor and blog comments. Large newspapers always got way more letters than they could publish. The letters were edited for spelling, grammar, etc., and sometimes also for content and length. Mainstream newspapers would not print letters that had blatant falsehoods, such as Obama being born in Kenya.

Newspapers had to allow comments in order to compete with blogs and other social media. There was also the idea that readers would add information and insight to stories. That's rarely the case these days.

Newspapers can filter out comments with curse words and the such. Unlike the New York Times, however, most don't have a staff member to check each comment before it's posted. But a staff member may check in occasionally and delete inappropriate stuff and spam.

(I worked at 3 major metro newspapers and interned at another.)

Here's a photoof the CHO PICU, which seems to show the beds are separated by curtains.
Another

Anonymous said...

sprocket, do you have a copy of the mediated agreement to transfer Jahi's body that VF referred to in her summary of the legal proceedings?

Dave Erickson said...

@Suzie - this is just what I've put together and deduced on my own from the accounts that I've read. But this is more of the question for me: Was she put in the ICU immediately after the surgery or transferred there from the surgical recovery room? And, was the family actually given the responsibility to suction her?

There is still a pretty big question: what caused the bleeding to start, and why did it become so profuse? AND Why did she arrest/code? If this all occurred in the surgical recovery room, and the family was "attending" her and did not call for help soon enough, this seems plausible. It seems less plausible for the profuse bleeding, the arrest/code to happen in the PICU.

I'm just wondering about these rumors that the family might actually be at fault for starting the bleeding.

Anonymous said...

Posted 14 hours ago on Keep Jahi McMath on life support (FB page):

"Great News!! This is the text of a Tweet sent out by Jahi's uncle Omari on Friday afternoon.

Omari @_iamOMARI

...Jahi is doing very well!! Her condition has really improved since leaving CHO on January 5th....

Please supporters, Let's keep praying, don't let any distraction stop us. Please pray, Jahi needs our prayers for healing. Continued prayers, continued healing. Thank you."

In other words, keep those donations coming.

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 4:46 PM:

I have some type of simple typed statements document, with some handwriting on it. I don't know if that is the same document that VF is referring to. I can't remember who sent it to me . I have no idea how to source it, which is why I have not uploaded it to T&T's SCRIBD account.



Dave Erickson said...

This was posted today on the RenewAmerica site, authored by "S.N. Sansalone with edits by Paul A. Byrne, M.D."
Jahi Mcmath's functioning hypothalamus: some social and scientific considerations

I see some major problems with this but I'm interested in CaliGirl9 or the other med folks opinion of it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote on January 18, 2014 at 11:56 AM about her ARNP friend's account of caring for Jahi McMath at OCH. I was once involved in a high-profile medical lawsuit. We nurses were told not to talk to anyone, including each other, about anything concerning the case as we could potentially suddenly be confronted in deposition by innocent conversation in which we engaged. This would, of course, catch the hospital lawyers off guard and perhaps jeopardize the case. (As a matter of fact, I had to swear in deposition that I had not discussed the matter with anyone, except the attorneys, including my peers.)

This is a legal blog and perhaps you can address this. I would not want the ARNP's comments discovered in a public online forum if there is ANY chance it could get her in trouble. I don't know. I just know what the lawyers representing my hospital told us. And, there was nothing harder to do, especially when we nurses were being bashed by the family and nation-wide media for being so incompetent when we were not.

Sprocket said...

Anon @6:43 PM:

At this point, this information, given anonymously, is second hand. It's hearsay.

What was said on this blog would not be allowed. I personally don't see a problem at this point.

I've gone down possible scenarios in my mind and I don't see this as being relevant information to a lawsuit, that the attorneys could not get from questioning the nurses who treated Jahi, directly.

JMHO.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sproket. The gag order was so pounded into us that when I saw these comments, I started to flashback and hyperventilate! The whole thing was such a nightmare for months only to resurface a couple years later. I feel soooooo sorry for those nurses who have to go through depositions. My notes saved me, thank God!

g kuzma said...

Dr. Paul Byrne has posted yet another article about Jahi. He claims that her body has regained the ability to regulate its temperature, which he considers evidence that the brain is healing. Here is the link:

http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/byrne/140118

He also levels accusations against the hospital relative to the care they gave Jahi, and more-or-less echoes Atty Dolan's claim that the family should have complete and total control over all decisions at the time of death. I mean, he doesn't say it in those words, but that's how I interpret his rhetoric.

I'm curious about others' opinions on this article, in particular his claim about restored hypothalamic function. My only observation is that if she's been at the new facility receiving "treatment" for two weeks now and the only improvement they can point to is this, well, that's really not much. I'm skeptical about his claims anyway.

I also find myself wondering how Jahi's family has managed to draw certain seemingly intelligent people into the role of advocating for them. This Dr. Byrne is smart enough to become a doctor, and he is articulate. But he is ignoring court affidavits filed by the hospital detailing extensive accommodations they made for Jahi's family, above and beyond their normal protocol. He is also ignoring the fact that no hospital is obliged to treat anyone whom they consider dead. If someone shows up at the ER on death's doorstep, then a hospital IS obliged to at least stabilize the person, then they have the right to transfer the patient to another facility.

But I don't see how anyone can believe that a hospital should be forced to invest their resources into a body that several clinicians have assessed to be dead. I mean, if any doctor inovlved in her care still believed she was alive, I'm sure they would have spoken up. So it's safe to assume that not only the 6 neurologists who did the brain death tests, but in fact dozens of doctors and support clinicians all agreed that she is dead.

Families shouldn't be able to force hospitals to treat corpses. Byrnes, it would seem, disagrees. He seems to think that the family should decide if the person is dead or not, and on the basis of their decision, the hospital should then carry out the procedures that only they have the expertise to perform. In other words, the family is the expert on whether or not death has occurred, but the hospital retains expertise in trachs and g-tubes and such, and the family can forcibly compel the hospital to apply that expertise on demand. This seems patently absurd. What am I missing?

Thanks everyone! I've learned so much from this forum. I'm really grateful.

Anonymous said...

Hi all, very informative blog. I'm glad I found it.
On one of the FB pages for Jahi,I noticed after Uncle's tweet was posted, about how Jahi is improving. A couple posters said to feed her Omega3 and Organic healthy food so her body can heal.
Another posted Give her COQ10, Gingko Biloba for her heart and liver and also to open up brain follicles so blood can flow. They just don't get it, when someone posted "why feed a deceased person" they all reported him and said he was harassing a "disabled" person.

one_blogger said...

@Anon 8:14pm.
--Byrne is just lying (and carefully omitting facts) to advance his agenda. The hypothalamus is dead because it is part of the brain (and not even part of the brainstem). My guess is that he's using that particular part of the brain because it's responsible for body temp, control of food intake, thirst and hunger, heart rate, blood pressure, hormones like vasopressin (ADH, antidiuretic hormone) oxytocin growth-hormone releasing hormone, GI stimulation, and according to wiki, 'important aspects of parenting and attachment' etc. etc. Strangely enough, it also controls shivering...I can guarantee you Jahi is not shivering anymore because she has been dead for over a month. Also, the hypothalamus is responsive to 'stress'....so if they believe all this, it would be crazy for them to be taking her out of a renowned hospital to some step-down place and 'causing her undo stress'.
Of course, we all know she's dead (brain-dead) so there is no functioning hypothalamus or pons or medulla oblongata for that matter.
It's all fiction to build up a multi-million dollar lawsuit and feed the religious far-right agenda.
It's pretty macabre, manipulative on the lowest level and horribly materialistic. Poor Jahi had to be born to this clan....I just wish she could have some dignity in death but nope, they're not having it.

figs said...

g kuzma, keep somthing in mind, dr. byrne is NOT a nuerologist, also, he IS a devout christian first and a docter waaaaaayyyy later!!! to the person that posted Angel Herald FB comment, she's right about Cincinnati's Children's Hospital, best in the nation, this family would NOT have carried on the way they did. hell, i'm alive today because of CincyChildren and it's DR.s Nurses and Staff, i'm 46yrs old because of them.... i'm 40yrs past my shelf-life.... wasn't expected to live past the age of 6... i'm here because of the sacrifice that sprocket, caligirl9 and all you others that brave this proffesion in spite off the fact you deal with unruly patients, annoying family, any number of things. i'm am alive here now and it's because of YOU....ALL OF YOU!!! I LOVE and THANK you for it very much!!!

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you for your synopsis about this tragic case. As a nurse, I don't understand some of the legalities, but definitely know about the medical inaccuracies that have been in the media - such as the recent op ed by S. N. Sansalone (edited by Dr. Bryne). Some may remember Sansalone as a participant of the Baby Joseph case.

As one person stated, the hypothalamus is part of the brain cortex. (physically it is between the brain stem and the rest of the brain cortex). It is physically impossible for this to be functioning still.

Again, thank you for this blog.

Anonymous said...

Articles for today:

1.Christian Science Monitor http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/0119/When-does-life-end-Two-emotional-cases-probe-the-complexities
2. Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/07/jahi-mcmath-precedent_n_4557342.html

Sprocket said...

The Jahi McMath Quick Links Page has been update with new links this morning.

The news stories you, our dear readers have provided are added by the date of the article. So, if you recommended a link that is a few days old, look for it there.

I've also added links to images of CHO Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. These are under the section:

RESOURCE LINKS, Miscellaneous.

As you can see, the quick links page is getting filled up with all kinds of information.

T&T has the most detailed, comprehensive coverage of select high-profile trials in Los Angeles County. We also have detailed coverage of some high-profile murder trials that were live-streamed on the web. You can find all the cases T&T has covered on the right side of the blog under the heading:

FULL TRIAL COVERAGE LINKS.

All of T&T's writers donate their time to contribute to the blog.
No one receives a salary. Currently, T&T is brought to you with no commercial advertizing. T&T is 100% reader supported through donations.

figs said...

have a question for the medical experts, so, the family and others are claiming that jahi is "improving", is it possible for a body that is confirmed to be sloughing it's internal organs, can this process suddenly reverse?

Sprocket said...

figs:

The simple answer (from a non-medical expert) is no. That public statement that Jahi was "improving" was a few days after she left CHO.

I don't believe we've heard anything recent from the family attorney, Dolan. And, several of the family's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts went private.

Remember, there are so many body processes, hormones, body temp, etc., that are regulated by the brain. The brain is dead.

They will try to artificially maintain them, but eventually, my understanding is, this slogging process will continue.

Anonymous said...

I have a question, considering the family's accounts have gone private and the attorney is also quiet, is it possible that they are negotiating a settlement with the hospital?? I mean they probably would not publicize that would they??

Sprocket said...

Anon @3:18 PM

Anything is possible at this point. I would not be surprised if, Dolan is trying to negotiate a settlement with the hospital.

There is quite a bit we don't know.

1. What happened in recovery and in PICU after surgery, minute by minute. The family is making the hospital stand by HIPPA laws. This means that the only information we have about the Jahi McMath case, beyond the court documents, is what the family has chosen to tell the press. Their account is biased.

2. Where Jahi's body currently is. Heck, she could be buried by now and no one knows it.

3. If the hospital and family are in negotiations for a settlement.

Anonymous said...

figs, I'm an RN. No, it is not possible. The only thing they are doing is slowing the rate of organ failure but they can't stop it.

Anonymous said...

sprocket, is an autopsy public information or does the family have to agree to release it?

Sprocket said...

Anon @3:36 PM:

If I can only go by what I know of the LA County Coroner's Office:

My understanding is that autopsy reports are public record, but the coroner is not obligated to tell the general public which autopsies were performed, and when. In LA Co., you can call the coroner's office and pay for a copy of an autopsy report.

In high profile cases, sometimes the coroner "seals" the autopsy report, (the actual autopsy procedure is not public) until such time that it is presented in a criminal trial.

I have not heard, (although it could be possible) of an autopsy report being permanently sealed.

If /when Jahi's body has an autopsy, we may not know about it until someone finds out which governing body/county performed the autopsy.

See?

Anonymous said...

sprocket @3:44pm. I thought the agreement was that they had to return Jahi's body to the coroner that released her since the COD said 'pending' on the death certificate that was issued?

figs said...

Sprocket, i see that the gofundme page is STILL taking donations, wont/isn't this become/becoming fraud? i mean, she IS dead!!

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 3:56 PM
How would the coroner enforce that?

Sprocket said...

figs:

How would you prove fraud? Who would investigate and bring charges?

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, thanks for posting the pic of the Warriors visiting a PICU ward at CHO.

It looks to be about as little room around the bed as possible. It is my understanding/experience that all the rules in various ICUs, which can vary, are predicated on fast access for medical staff, when necessary.

I cannot imagine how horrible that ward was with the members of the McmathWinkfieldChatmanSealey crew in there.

Marisacat

Dave Erickson said...

@Sprocket (or anyone) I have a couple of questions: Is the coroner *required* to do an autopsy in this case? and What is the "record" for keeping a brain dead body on life support? In one of the early reports, either in the LA Times or the SJ Merc, they kept repeating that brain dead bodies had been kept on life support "in rare cases, years," but I have not been able to find any case of more than a few weeks or maybe month. My guess is that the body is getting pretty far along at this point, and this is the outer limit of what has ever been done. I'm going to guess that the hear has stopped, and that the family is negotiating the terms of returning the body to the coroner. I wouldn't be surprised if the body has been in the fridge at the family home for at least a week...

Anonymous said...

In today's San Francisco Chronicle, Matier & Ross mention in their column that Jahi McMath is "now being cared for at an undisclosed facility back East." How they know that, I don't know. And I have my doubts. Maybe they got that confused with the East Bay (which is where George Mark is -- in San Leandro, which is close to Oakland). I will be talking to a friend next week whose daughter spends time at George Mark for respite care and see if she knows anything. From my friend's experience, this place is a godsend and they are not kooks, so on the one hand I'd think they'd want to stay away from the circus, but on the other hand, they sound like a very compassionate organization, so maybe they have taken in Jahi for her family's sake.

Dave Erickson said...

The article by Sansalone and Byrne deserves some attention because I believe they are setting up the argument for the inevitable lawsuit by the family against CHO.

In their article they make a rather extraordinary claim (unsubstantiated of course) that the body "regained the ability to self regulate temperature" They claim that the body was not self regulating temperature during December, after the body was released to the family and received "proper nutrition" that the part of the brain that regulates temperature (hypothalamus) regained function, and may not have been dead in the first place. They make the claim then that a) if the hospital had not deprived the body of nutrition in the first place that there might have been a recovery,and b) it was a misdiagnosis of brain death to begin with.

Of course, none of these claims can be substantiated, because they are not independently verified. Paul Byrne is probably the "doctor" that is referred to in the article. Sansalone is apparently not an MD.

Sprocket said...

Anon @5:06 PM:

Again, this is an unsubstantiated report. Did the reporter say, they confirmed this independently?

My personal belief, based only on things that have been done at a well known research hospital, is that she is at a research facility that does this borderline ethical stuff. JMHO.

Dave Erickson,
We won't know what the arguments are until a lawsuit is filed. Once that happens, hopefully, one of our generous readers will volunteer to spell it out for us in easier to understand verbiage.

Sprocket said...

I looked at SFC's online presence and as much as I searched, I could not find the most recent article. Can you say what section of the paper it's in or provide a link?

I may not be online yet.

Anonymous said...

The Matier & Ross quote is in an unrelated article (about another case Mr. Dolan is involved in):

http://blog.sfgate.com/matierandross/2014/01/19/woodside-coaches-bounced-over-alleged-player-hazing/

It doesn't mention where they got the info. (Dolan? Like I'd trust him...)

If the body is in Arizona, it must be at Alcor, though how the family is paying for that is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

http://blog.sfgate.com/matierandross/2014/01/19/woodside-coaches-bounced-over-alleged-player-hazing/

Just a statement at bottom of article about Dolan and saying Jahi being out East

figs said...

Sprocket, based on your experience, what do you think is the likelyhood of the possible/forthcoming trial being televised?

Sprocket said...

Anon @7:04 asked about a potential televised trial.

I had a detailed post made out and then it went poof. Grrrr!

Short answer: Highly unlikely.

When I can find the time to write out my reasons again, I'll do that, later.

Anonymous said...

A number of people have asked whether soliciting money on gofundme is fraudulent. I'd say, no -- but that donating to people you don't know on gofundme is stupid. Gofundme is set up so that people can ask for money for pretty much whatever they want, and there is no way that you can verify that what they are asking for is what they are going to spend the money on. If the folks are honest or if the folks are crooks, you can't tell. In my own community, a gal is trying to raise $10,000 for her dream wedding (or maybe it's $20,000 -- I forget, and I'm not going to look it up) -- but given some of the other issues she has in her story about why she deserves people to give her money, I think she and her boyfriend should just make it legal at city hall and learn to live within their means. But that's just me.
But I digress. This is from the gofundme website:
"Q: Can I raise money for anything? A. Almost. As always, common sense goes a long way here. DO raise money for personal causes that are purposeful, exciting and inspiring to others." I think that what the family is doing fits into that guideline. To them it is indeed purposeful.
Here's another tip from the site, which the family may end up in trouble with if they don't get good tax advice, and given that they are such a high-profile case, somebody from the IRS may be watching:
"Q: What about taxes and stuff? A: Unfortunately, we're unable to provide specific tax advice since everyone's situation is different. While this is no means a guarantee, most donations on GoFundMe are simply considered to be 'personal gifts' which are not taxed as income in the US. Additionally, only donations made to a legally registered non-profit or charity may be considered eligible for donors to claim as a tax deduction. Again, every situation is different so please consult with a tax professional in your area."

Anonymous said...

If you haven't heard about Alcor, here are a few quotes from their homepage:
"The Alcor Life Extension Foundation is the world leader in cryonics ... the science of using ultra-cold temperature to preserve human life with the intent of restoring good health when technology becomes available to do so. ... Cryonics is a speculative life support technology that seeks to preserve human life in a state that will be viable and treatable by future medicine. ... Cryonics as practiced by Alcor is not an interment method or mortuary practice. Alcor intervenes in the dying process as soon as possible after legal death to preserve the brain as well as possible. Alcor seeks to prevent loss of information within the brain that encodes memory and personal identity, which is the true boundary between life and death. ... Cryonics is an attempt to preserve and protect the gift of human life. The purpose of cryonics is to maintain life, not reverse death. Lack of legal status as a person does not imply lack of moral status as a person. The spiritual status of cryonics patients is the same as frozen human embryos, or unconscious medical patients."
If indeed Ms. McMath's body was transported to this facility in Arizona, I don't know how well "intervene[ing] in the dying process as soon as possible after legal death to preserve the brain as well as possible" has been working out.
I feel so sorry for the mother when she wakes up from the nightmare that her denial has caused. If she is feeling guilty NOW about having her daughter go into surgery in the first place, can you imagine how guilty she will feel when she realizes how she has, in effect, desecrated her own child's body? Maybe the only way for her to continue living with herself is to stay in denial. Such a sad, sad story in so many ways... I pray for the family's healing -- the mother's grief must be devastating her other kids, not to mention their own grief of missing their sister. The only soul at peace here is Jahi. God bless her.

Sprocket said...

Personally, (JMHO) I was thinking along the lines of Loma Linda, down here in So. Cali.

At this point, it's all speculation. As far as I know, there has been no independent information on the location of Jahi's body.

The spokesperson /uncle stated she traveled by ground, but I also take that information as being suspect.

Anonymous said...

To all those asking about the GoFundMe page, I actually emailed the administrator of the page about a week ago. I'm assuming it's a Family member, but I still haven't received a reply, so last night I emailed GoFundMe directly. I asked if there was anything fraudulent about collecting money w/o updating as to what the money is going for? If they received the money for transport, which has already happened, then what are they still collecting for. I realize there is nothing wrong w/them asking for money, but where is it going.
This is the response I got from GFM:
(Note, I took out the reps name since she's only a rep).

(GoFundMe Customer Happiness)
Jan 19 06:51 AM
Hello,
Thank you for sending over this page.
GoFundMe is a neutral platform that allows people to raise money for their cause. Anyone can use GoFundMe as long as their campaign is not breaking the law or in violation of our terms and conditions.
I will have our community managers look in to this fundraiser.
Thank you,

We're here to help! I'll try my best to respond within 5 minutes during normal business hours.
-----------------------------------------
Customer Happiness, GoFundMe

DM2


CaliGirl9 said...

Regarding the "regaining" of the body's ability to regulate its temperature—I wish I had access to a nice academic data base, because I have a feeling whatever warmth/heat may be happening is due to decomp. There are microbes at work internally, and they give off energy...

The Body Farm at the University of Tennessee no doubt has studied this very thing... except, of course, their residents are truly dead dead, with no heartbeat.

I believe nothing that comes from that so-called "Dr." Byrne or any of the family's mouthpieces. If Jahi were truly "improving" you can bet that family would be Tweeting images all over the place, and Uncle Omari would be visiting Nancy Grace and Piers Morgan again.

Anonymous said...

Personally, (JMHO) I was thinking along the lines of Loma Linda, down here in So. Cali. -Sprocket

Loma Linda crossed my mind, back when they removed the body from CHO, and yes based on IF there was truth in the overland transport claim (and the horrific weather happening just then), the vague claim of hours in transport, etc.

I am not an attorney, nor a veteran "court watcher" and citizen reporter... but what worries me about the effects going forward from this horrid odyssey is that if someone had outlined this horror from the start point of the post surgical crisis, to the family going public in what I now consider to be a display of peacocking (to be blunt), to holding a major hospital hostage for weeks, then the court, yes denying procedures on a dead body but caving IMO to the family and now this, a dead body on the loose - even if turned over by the court order to the mother, etc., etc.... I would have said NO WAY. Cali laws, health and safety regs, etc., would intervene and this would never happen.

But it has. And here we are.

People all over the net are posting the pics of Omari and Dolan up at the game in Seattle. Big smiles, happy times.

Unbelievable.

-Marisacat

Anonymous said...

Interesting...uncle Omari was at the Seattle NFL game today with ridicously expensive and close seats. He also just happened to run into his friend Dolan while there. All documented on twitter and photos on Instagram. It makes my stomach turn.

Anonymous said...

To Dave Erickson: Eleven cases of brain dead pregnant women reported in a 2003 survey by Powner and Bernstein were supported for 36 hrs to 107 days. A pregnant woman in
United Arab Emirates was supported for 110 days. A brain-dead Sarasota, FL, teen was supported for 4 months in 1994 (Teresa Hamilton).

As stated in "Controversies in the Determination of Death: A White Paper by the President's Council on Bioethics", "It is impossible to know with certainty the extent of prolonged survival in brain death because a systematic clinical study in which the cardiac and circulatory functions are sustained for prolonged periods (weeks, months, or years) in a large number of patients is morally indefensible, extraordinarily expensive in terms of money and resources or manpower and intensive care unit beds, and legally prohibitive.21
For this reason, there is no effective way to determine how many patients could be stabilized in the condition of total brain failure and for how long." (Interesting read, BTW)
Alley

Anonymous said...

In this video momma says Jahi was spitting up clots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLWqmUqxuoY

Anonymous said...

Another interesting video. I find the videos labeled "raw footage" (unedited) very interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itCFDPqTj1Q

Anonymous said...

Per Franklin G. Miller with The Hastings Center, "Various experts have demonstrated that 'brain dead' patients maintained on mechanical ventilation display a range of vital functioning, which conflicts with the judgment that they are dead. These patients maintain hormonal balance, control of temperature, the ability to fight infections, and wound healing. Children diagnosed with 'brain death' undergo growth and sexual maturation. Perhaps most dramatically, pregnant women diagnosed with 'brain death' have been able to gestate a fetus for up to a few months. How can such facts be squared with a determination of death?" Unfortunately, he does not reference the experts; however, in "Controversies in the Determination of Death: A White Paper by the President's Council on Bioethics", in Chapter 3 there is a discussion of preserved tissue in a body with total brain failure that actually does support certain isolated functions of the brain. Fascinating read!
Alley

Anonymous said...

Your GoFundMe funds hard at work!
Alley

Anonymous said...

Anon in Texas - probably more ranting than anything! For the most part I believe that Jahi is at a facility of some sort - however I do not understand how this has not been leaked by someone (visitor, staff, other patient?) to the media. I also don't think mom and company could behave at another facility any better than they did at CHO. And some days, that leads me to feel like she is in fact, at home. Or at someone else's home. This whole mess was sickening a month ago and has only gotten worse.

Uncle at NFL games posing with his "brother/friend" Dolan?! How can this be "good for the cause" if you will? I'm sure he made it there with some of those GoFundMe funds. The amount of people who still support this family with no proof this child is indeed having a miraculous recovery is so disturbing to me. I think if Jahi were "improving" they would be telling the world!

I don't know that we will ever know when her heart stops, if it hasn't already. I think they will bury this poor kid as quietly as they possibly can after making the end of her life such a circus.

g kuzma said...

@Anon

You said: "I think they will bury this poor kid as quietly as they possibly can after making the end of her life such a circus."

Your scenario is plausible, but I could also see Winkfield proclaiming loudly to the worldly, "They killed my baby!!!!" - "We tried everything we could to reverse the mess they made, but they had already done too much damage, and now Jahi's dead!". Dolan has already made the argument that Jahi's body is in such horrible shape because CHO refused to give her nutrition.

Well, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Anonymous said...

anonymous @10:48 pm. What he fails to point out is that none of them do any of that on their own. Intensive medical intervention is replacing the functions of the brain. Also notice how he doesn't provide any citations for any of the cases which is always a red flag to me.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@ 8:06 AM. According to Shewmon (google chronic brain death for medical references) some of them may do that on their own. It isn't clear that in all cases continuous intensive medical intervention (apart from ventilation) is required. However what is clear from the medical literature is that no one who has been diagnosed as brain dead using the criteria used to diagnose Jahi has ever shown any measurable signs of consciousness or exhibited any meaningful interaction with their environment.

Anonymous said...

Articles for today:
1. Readers Reactions to Jahi McMath Coverage:

http://www.insidebayarea.com/crime-courts/ci_24912185/john-horgan-readers-react-jahi-mcmath-commentary

2. Article by a Byrne-like doctor:
http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/01/the_importance_of_not_letting.html

3. Nice post from docbastard blog:
http://docbastard.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/jahi-mcmath-misconceptions-and-twitter.html

Sprocket said...

The OregonLive link is relatively new, dated 1/18.

The Inside Bay Area link is being passed around and repeated by other newspapers. It's originally dated 1/3

Nice to see DocBastard is still commenting on this case. His blog is listed in T&T's link list on the right, and in the McMath Quick Links Page under:

RESOURCE LINKS - Blogs & Websites T&T Likes.

Anonymous said...

https://www.facebook.com/KRON4/posts/10151917619317098?refid=52

This link to the KRON stations facebook page was posted on the Team Jahi Family in denial page. In the comments, there is a poster named Michelle Brewster who is claiming to work at the facility where Jahi is. My gut feeling is something is fishy....

Sprocket said...

Please take this information on the KRON4 Facebook page, like anything else, with extreme caution.

I tried Googling this name and I can't find a "Physician's Assistant" listed on staff anywhere.

There's a ARPN-NP In Oklahoma with that name, and a Doctor of Osteopathy in Miami, but that's all I've found.

So take it for what it's worth: not much at this point.

JMHO>

Sprocket said...

I've read through all of "Michelle Brewster's" comments on the KRON4 page, including her replies to other posters.

Michelle Brewster does not offer any sophisticated information.

She states that she is a PA working at that facility that is treating Jahi, yet at the same time, she has quite a bit of information about the mother's interaction with CHO.

I would believe this individual is more likely a family friend, an LVN or certified nurse assistant.

Her profile on Facebook is not private and you can see photos where she recently got married.

Again, this is all JMHO.

Anonymous said...

From reading the comments, it appears she was just married and is still going by a maiden name of Cochran.

Anonymous said...

Your humble opinion is appreciated.

Sprocket said...

I looked at that name, too.

At this point, to me, JMHO some of the comments seem contradictory.

Her Facebook page indicates she lives in the SF Bay area.

I think it is more likely this individual is a friend, or a friend of a friend of the family.

JMHO.

Sprocket said...

There ARE Catholic-associated skilled nursing facilities in the Bay Area.

St. Mary's in SF has one.

So, it's "possible" that Jahi is near her home.

Like I've said many times before, everything is possible. We have no independent verification of anything regarding Jahi's body, or it's condition.

That hasn't changed.

Sprocket said...

Listen readers:

IF IF IF everything the family said has been true, then by all means show a video that you took in the hospital of Jahi's body moving.

Share a video of how much better she is, NOW.

This is never going to happen.... because it's all not true.

JMHO.

Anonymous said...

I think eventually, due to various factors, we will know some things. A few things, at the least. And IF it turns out she is at any sort of licensed SNF - skilled nursing facility - or at a Hospice that is licensed to care for dying children, I will throw my hands in the air and scream out loud.

IF nothing else is true, IF she is in such a facility then her family and the lawyer have, almost without question, taken a needed bed for the still living.

The nurses at All Nurses have, in recent days, been very forthcoming about limits to PICU beds across the nation, the high rates of hospitals going on "diversion" and so on.

Over and over I am horrified by the whole of this story... in all its parts and pieces.

Like so many others, I just want it to be O V E R.

- Marisacat

Anonymous said...

Agree 100% Sprocket.

Sprocket said...

I've no read through all of Michelle Brewster's postings on the KRON4 Facebook page.

Here are my additional thoughts.

When CaliGirl9 and KZ wrote their posts for T&T, did you notice anything in those posts, that is quite lacking in Michelle Brewster's comments on KRON4 Facebook page.

First, what's different is, there is a complete lack of medical terminology. If Ms. Brewster truly is a physician's assistant at the new facility why are her comments on the Facebook page, written as if she has no higher level medical knowledge?

That's a serious question.

Second, when a statement leaves more questions than it answers, it's self serving.

Third, if she really is an RN or a PA, posting like this to me, would be career suicide. If truly does work for a facility that is caring for Jahi's body, anyone can find that out.

JMHO.

Anonymous said...

"Third, if she really is an RN or a PA, posting like this to me, would be career suicide. If truly does work for a facility that is caring for Jahi's body, anyone can find that out."

Seriously! When I read it, I was expecting an internet pile up of people citing HIPAA violations.

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