by James Zisfein, MD
A few words on the saga of Jahi McMath, the teenager who became brain dead from a surgical complication, whose family refused to accept that determination, and whose heart has stopped and is now dead by everyone’s definition:
The fact of McMath’s death over 4 years ago should not be in question. The original determination of death at Oakland Children’s Hospital was in full compliance with published medical standards. Several physicians confirmed that determination. There have been no subsequent neurologic examinations of McMath demonstrating evidence of life.
Alan Shewmon, a neurologist called in by the family, expressed his belief that McMath was responsive based on videos that showed finger movements after she was instructed to move her fingers.