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Tensions rise in dispute over future of Jahi McMath's body

Jahi McMath is the 13-year-old Oakland girl who remains on life support even though she was declared brain dead after she suffered complications following a routine tonsil-removal procedure. (KTVU)
Jahi McMath is the 13-year-old Oakland girl who remains on life support even though she was declared brain dead after she suffered complications following a routine tonsil-removal procedure. (KTVU)
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Updated: 1/02 10:38 am
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) -- Tensions rose Wednesday as a Children’s Hospital spokesman accused the attorney for Jahi McMath's family of carrying on a hoax about the reality of her ability to be brought back to life.

Children’s Hospital Spokesman Sam Singer said Christopher Dolan, the family’s attorney, has created a problem he can’t solve.

“The family attorney is perpetuating a very tragic hoax on the public as well as misleading the family,” Singer said. “Jahi McMath is deceased.”

Singer said Dolan has yet to produce a physician or a facility that is willing to take a deceased body.

The comments are frustrating for Jahi’s family, specifically her uncle Omari Sealy. Sealy came to the defense of Dolan.

“Let’s be very clear,” Sealy said. “He is only doing what we are asking him to do.”

[Expanded Coverage from KTVU: Jahi McMath]

Sealy said the family has made progress. He said they have secured an ambulance and a plane to transport Jahi, but would not say where the facility is located. He believes the circumstances would be different if Jahi were an organ donor.

“If she was an organ donor they would do absolutely everything to make sure she was in the best health possible,” Sealy said.

A judge has ruled no surgeries can be performed on the 13-year-old.

The girl was declared brain dead by three doctors following tonsil surgery nearly a month ago. Children's Hospital is required to keep Jahi on a ventilator until January 7th.

“No amount of time, no amount of surgery and no amount of hope will bring her back,” Singer added. “We hope the family finds peace in 2014 and is able to move forward.”

Singer said a miracle won't come, but that won't stop Jahi's family from patiently waiting for one.

"She still looks good. She still looks like Jahi. That keeps us going," Sealy added.

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Realchange - 1/3/2014 3:21 AM
1 Vote
Many of you are forgetting something where there is life there is hope. The SHAVIO case in FLA was a travesty. Remember few months after she died that a man woke up out so called vegetative state? He was making same grunts as her and later told in interview was him trying to communicate as he was trapped in his own body. If this family wants to hold out hope for their little girl then let them. This children hospital doing this is not following their Hippocratic Oath at that old one you know? About doing no harm? They are intentionally trying to get rid of this girl after killing in her something that should had million to 1 odds of death. So many of you were angry that little girl died in the Casey Anthony case from neglect, but in this case you support a negligent hospital. It is simply astounding. So when corporation kills your loved one with some kind indifference in the future do not expect the community to support you or try to help you.

nativejax - 1/2/2014 3:40 PM
1 Vote
I want to correct what I said in last post, I do think this woman DOES need a Lawyer, but ONLY for the DOCTOR who could somehow cause the death of his patient during a ROUTINE TONSILLECTOMY.

FlSunRise87 - 1/2/2014 3:19 PM
1 Vote
This family is causing a huge media stunt and even worse will be responsible for a failed mission and rotten organs in the end. The poor girl is brain DEAD, not in a coma, brain dead. I understand it's ultimately the families decision however if they want her to live on why not donate the organs to children who need them?

nativejax - 1/2/2014 3:13 PM
0 Votes
I agree Old Dog, but grief and an attorney's $ signs make people stupid, and unable to do whats right...If they really cared about their daughter, they need a minister and mediator, not a lawyer.

Old Dog - 1/2/2014 1:12 PM
1 Vote
This is a very sad story but brain dead is just that, death. Time for the family to let her move on. Then if I am reading the story correctly it sounds like her death will end up being a total waste since her organs will not be donated to help others. That would be a really big mistake and a greedy one at that but that is a decision the parents will have to make and live with. Just hope that down the road, no other family going through something like this, ever donates anything to save the life or help any of Jahi's family members, as selfish people should not expect any better than they are willing to give. I also hope all of the costs associated with this situation are being paid for by the family and not one cent of tax payer dollars are going to support them and their wasteful lost cause.

Xtream101 - 1/2/2014 12:50 PM
0 Votes
Brain dead is brain dead. People in acoma have nerou activity she does not. People in acoma can dream and suffer pain. Doctors can administer drugs to prevent this or minimize it. In people that are brain dead those said procedures do nothing. I don't want to compare her to a chicken who was beheaded and still lived for 2 years despite not havinga brain. R.I.P. I'm not heartless just being aware of facts.

flsterlin - 1/2/2014 11:22 AM
1 Vote
As a parent who has experienced the same loss, I feel that the parents should be the ones to make the decision. Hospitals are too quick to disconnect life support and encourage it too soon - giving the impression that it is all about donating the organs. When the family makes the decision, they will forever wonder if it was the right one and should be allowed to take the time they need to prepare themselves, as they will forever be haunted by their doubts about making the right one. NO ONE can begin to understand unless they have been there themselves. Sending love to the family.

honnor7 - 1/2/2014 10:41 AM
0 Votes
I meant die.

honnor7 - 1/2/2014 10:40 AM
0 Votes
The girl is brain dead let her dye in peace. Its the humane thing to do.
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