A quick update in the ongoing, insane saga of poor, (most probably) brain dead Jahi McMath: A court-appointed medical expert has submitted a new opinion stating that 13-year-old McMath remains brain dead despite testimonials by medical experts found by McMath's family and their lawyer, Chris Dolan. A hearing in Alameda County Superior Court was scheduled for today to see if Judge Evelio Grillo will issue an unprecedented reversal of a death certificate based on new evidence that McMath's family says proves she is still alive.
That evidence includes this video released Monday that shows McMath moving her foot, and then her arm, apparently after commands made by her mother. Also, Dolan has sought tests by five medical professionals in New Jersey who say she still shows signs of brain function, and "a Sept. 1 electroencephalogram that a researcher at a medical school in Cuba said showed electrical activity in Jahi's brain," as the AP reports.
The court-appointed expert in this case happens to be one of the three doctors who declared McMath brain dead in the first place something that Doland contends is a conflict of interest, and he objected to the appointment. In any event, that doctor, Stanford University pediatric neurologist Paul Fisher, dismisses all the various testimonies from the McMath camp saying that the tests were either incorrect, improperly administered, or irrelevant to the brain death declaration. He also dismissed the video, apparently, though it's unclear whether that video and his expert opinion filing crossed in the mail, so to speak, on Monday.
Dolan has now asked for today's hearing to be rescheduled, as the Chron reports.
McMath remains in a private home in New Jersey the only state that allows a patient's family to reject a diagnosis of brain death on religious grounds and her family is trying to get her moved back to the Bay Area and to be kept alive by UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, where she hemorrhaged after routine surgery and was declared dead in December 2013.
This case is likely to drag on for many more weeks or months, and meanwhile Jahi will be kept alive via ventilator and feeding tube at someone's (we know not whose) expense. Does everyone remember Terry Schiavo?