Friday, 3 January 2014

Jahi update

I've written several stories about other subjects over the past week, but I can't bring myself to post them.  Not until this whole Jahi McMath situation is finally sorted out.  Ever since my wife told me about the story, I've been completely obsessed with it.  I stay up much later than I should, reading every news story I can find.  What I find most fascinating are the comments that readers have been posting, not only on the news stories but on the Facebook support page that Jahi's uncle set up.  The comments I see range all over the map:
  • anger towards the family ("LET HER GO ALREADY!!!")
  • sympathy and empathy
  • prayers for the girl and her family
  • personal guarantees that Jahi will wake up
  • unrelated stories of other brain-injury patients recovering
  • links or stories of people they know who have survived brain death
To the people offering support, I think it's a wonderful sentiment.  These unfortunate people need all the support they can get, and knowing that there are people who care will do nothing but help.  To the people who are angry and yelling at the family, your pleas are falling on deaf and blind ears (wait a minute, does that...forget it, I'm going with it), and you're making yourselves look like arrogant, callous, uncaring assholes, so you may as well stop and crawl back under your rock.

Finally, to all the others telling fairy tales about your brain dead aunt who was minutes away from the morgue when she suddenly woke up and is now walking and talking and writing novels, my best advice to you would be to shut the fuck up.  Despite every bit of medical information out there, the family is so deep in denial that they refuse to believe reality, and the clear reason for that is that they are getting fed lies and half-truths from people like her shameless huckster of a lawyer Christopher Dolan, medical "experts" like Paul Byrne and Jonathan Fellus, and YOU.  All of you are doing nothing but sustaining a false sense of hope in a hopeless situation.  I have been calling this nonsense "misinformation", but I don't think that term is accurate.

In an effort to try to illustrate my point, I decided to coin a new word: "malinformation".  Unfortunately, a 0.426 second Google search informed me that someone else got to "malinformation" first, so I can't actually claim it as mine.  DAMN IT.  Anyway, misinformation is bad information that is spread unintentionally.  On the other hand, disinformation is bad information that is spread intentionally in order to mislead.  I'd like malinformation, on the third hand (since there is no other hand), to be defined as "bad information that is spread intentionally in order to mislead and can lead to harm".

I've decided to compile a list of quotes and comments that are representative of the problem.  There are literally thousands of comments just like this.  These are real things that real people really said that I really didn't make up.  Really.  In the spirit of realism, I have kept all typos, spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, and displays of gross stupidity exactly as written.
  • A body needs a spirit to be alive.. Her spirit is still with her body as long as her heart beats..she is not deceased.
  • the poor baby doll could come out if this and create a while new medical era and hope for others
  • Brain death simply means no higher neural activity. It may or may not be reversible.
  • My sis in law was a teenager when the drs said she was brain dead. Told everyone to say their good byes. Shes now 30 with two kids. They pulled the same thing with her step dad. He also came out of it. Drs do not know everything. {this person knows *2* people to survive brain death! Amazing!}
  • Brain death is different from total body death.
  • my aunt was on life support, brain dead, and doctors told us she would not live for five minutes once plug was pulled. She lived for three weeks breathing on her on.
  • hint..a bible verse far override s scientific data
  • Life support gives support to the living. It does not give life to the dead. She is alive.
  • The physicians are going on book knowledge and saying no amount of hope can help. Where do the doctors get their knowledge from if not God.
  • the One who created the natural laws by which this universe runs, can override those natural laws any time He wants to!
  • they said one of my clients was brain dead... they (doctors) said pull the plug.... now he is talking...
  • the hospital knows she's still alive that's why they cant wait to kill her and wheel her out of there
  • if the parents want the tubes they should do it..the parents should be the ones to say yes or no..for the doctors to refuse the feeding tubes is plain bullshit..
  • I've seen my share of dead people. For one, they don't have a heartbeat. Last time I checked that was a brain function. And then there's that pesky rigor mortis.
  • Jahi is NOT a body, she is a warm living child
  • A child is not dead unless her mother say she is
  • Read some of Jahi's favourite books to her, play her favourite music...perhaps those will help wake her up.
  • This is wonderful!!! God is amazing!!! Your daughter is alive, and her moving proves it!
  • Because as long as that little girls heart is beating ( BTW- without help ) Then she is VERY much alive!
  • if her brain stem is dead as they say and the machine is breathing for her , wouldn't her other organs die ..read somewhere her kidneys are working fine ..so she's Not dead
  • Yes, I do believe in my heart that Jahi is still alive. They may have determined that she has no brain activity at this time. But that has happened before. Her heart is still working, her kidneys are too. 
  • That is sad to say a child is dead and she is not she is still breathing with a heart beat my eyes water with tears because doctors are Tryn to be god
  • And it doesn't matter how many of you try to say she is dead. A machine can not make her heart beat.
  • The only reason to take someone off life support is you don't love them enough to keep them on it
  • I have seen a person wake up literally right after they've taken the tubes out so.....Jahi will wake up
It's comments like that last one that are causing the most damage.  Everyone seems to know someone who was declared brain dead but woke up and recovered.  Unfortunately, that's just disinformation.  Those fortunate people were clearly never brain dead, but rather in a coma.  People in crisis situations (like having a critically-ill loved one) don't necessarily hear what is actually said to them, and "coma" or "unresponsive" may be processed and incorrectly interpreted as "brain dead".

Let me reiterate the salient point here as clearly as I can: there is not a single documented case in all of human history of someone who is truly brain dead ever coming back to life.  Once the brain is dead, it stays dead forever.  A brain flow study has confirmed that there is no blood flow to Jahi's brain, and several EEGs have shown no activity whatsoever.  No blood flow to the brain equals brain death, and brain death equals death.

Now you may be thinking, "Wait Doc, you mentioned harm.  What harm could they possibly be doing to a deceased body?"  Well, other than denying Jahi her dignity and final peace, nothing.  No, the real harm of this malinformation is 1) making people believe that dead bodies can somehow be reanimated and 2) setting a terrible, dangerous precedent that may be followed by others in the future.  THAT is the real harm being done here, and it is frightening.  Emotional families making irrational decisions based on beliefs and opinions can NOT be allowed to override actual medical facts and decide when a patient has died.

One final point I'd like to make is that I am NOT trying to stir up a religious debate.  Faith is a wonderful thing, and it can be very comforting and healing, in some respects.  What you believe in is up to you, and what I believe in is up to me.  Your faith, whatever it may be, is yours and yours alone, I respect that, and it is not up for debate.  Full stop.

68 comments:

  1. OMG - I've been completely obsessed too. Its crazy! Thanks for your post.

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  2. By the way - I was banned from the FB page along with MANY others for being voices of reason. Look forward to reading your others posts when you publish them. Any thoughts about what today's hearings will bring?

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    1. Someone posted my last blog post to their tribute page in two separate places. I actually created a Facebook profile just so I could make a comment that they didn't belong there, asking that others not do that. That page is for support only. Those posts (and mine) have since been deleted, as I fully expected (and wanted).

      The hearings today will be very interesting. I have a feeling the hospital will be allowed to turn off the machines. It won't be pretty, and I feel sorry for whichever respiratory therapist or nurse has to do it. I wouldn't want to be the one who "kills" Jahi for the second time.

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    2. Ah you're a better man than me. I just felt a terrific need to comment on some of the more outrageous posts on the FB page. You are right though - that is a page for support. Not that I wasn't being supportive but I was trying to bring a little reality to the situation. Not my place I guess.

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    3. I truly do feel sad for the family and for the hospital. And I hadn't yet even considered who would be the one to disconnect the machines. Sigh.

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    4. Thanks again DocBastard!! You missed one of the best quotes though. Someone on the Keep Jahi alive facebook page claims that the post-op bleed was a result of her ENT Doc accidently severing her carotid arteries. They encouraged the family to have someone repair her severed carotid arteries to restore blood flow to the brain. I kid you not. Great blog!! Thanks for the work you do on and off the blog!!!

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  3. Thank you, for this acticle. Her family is delusional, and so are most of my FB friends. I would prefer to die, then be a vegetable on life support forever.

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    1. I fully agree with you, and Mrs. Bastard and I have an agreement to let each other go if we are ever in that sad state. But just to be clear here - Jahi is not in a vegetative state, she is brain dead.

      Hm...maybe in my next update I should clarify the difference. I seem to remember a few people asking for a clarification.

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    2. I think alot of the facebook ones are "sock" accounts like one I saw "Greek Thalessemia" uh huh...one friend...really fake name. "hi my name is Mediterranean blood disease..."
      I hope the Hearing at least includes a gag order. I hope it will end the madness and let Jahi go in peace...but I fear that will not be the case. The family is insisting that the "fairytale" place in NY of the Shavio's (this isn't even a facility) will take Jahi if only the mean CHO will insert a trach and feeding tube! One interesting and weird thing happened is a ambulance was stolen 25 miles away from where Jahi is in Oakland,CA! It was recovered but why on earth would someone need/steal one?
      http://bit.ly/1a6tMt3
      Someone may have been wanting to "help" the family? Sounds irrational but reading the comments from all over...lots of that going around.
      There is no place to take Jahi. Unless her grandma who is a LVN wants to "rent a vent" and take her home?
      This is a scary medical story and setting a really bad legal precedent. It can not end well.
      People are bashing Drs. Nurses, but if they get hit by a car, who do they call?
      Its awful. I am also checking the news and comments. Its like a trainwreck....and it can't end well :(

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    3. I must admit I have developed a morbid fascination on this train wreck, and I will be publishing a blog post later on today. I have been posting on the FB page because I just cannot believe that people can be so ignorant, and the dumb comments like the ones you have quoted are certainly not helping at all. Plus the rabid right wing in the States (eg Michelle Malkin and Mike Huckabee) have hijacked this case for their own twisted political agenda.

      I want to see if this does go to court, the medical evidence is so clear that this is going to backfire on that scumbag lawyer.

      Goddess bless our NHS here in the UK, as I am pretty sure that this sort of madness would never be allowed to happen.

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  4. I am appalled at the ignorance of people who have no understanding or knowledge of physiology and brain function. Comments at various sites questioning doctors motives (selling organs, anyone?), claiming the the hospital is trying to cover up misdeeds, wanting to kill here etc., are on display. Here a site where many posters think that if her heart is beating, she's alive, and doctors don't have a clue about brain death: http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3107616/posts

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    1. Oh yes, I won't even GO to FR, might catch something there...really scary the ignorance of people and shows we really need science programs in schools, biology but most of these people are home "skooled" and know nothing of science that is obvious.

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    2. This has nothing to do with the Jahi case, but I noticed that this isn't the first time that you've bashed homeschooling, and I take offence to that. I'm not "right wing" or "conservative", I don't even attend a church - but I did homeschool my children until they reached high school. And you know what? My oldest graduated after just two years in a public high school, and my second graduated salutatorian while dual enrolled in college courses, working, and doing volunteer work in the community. So before you go around spouting off about the "ignorance" of the homeschooled, you might want to take a moment to think about how ignorant YOU sound.

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  5. There's a very nice, illustrative "article" on Radiopaedia (http://radiopaedia.org/cases/hot-nose-sign-brain-death) about how this condition can be "easily" assesed, that all these misleading morons should read and possibly use the basic biology knowledge to draw the striking conclusion - she is unfortunately dead.

    By the way - did anyone else recognize that the first misleading moron is actually her uncle (?), as he wrote in the FB page's information this: "... after going into surgery to have her tonsils removed". Although it is literally right, it's hard to believe he's not trying to imply "something" about the doctors to other readers.

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    1. I read the Uncle is actually trying to get a acting job out of all this 15 mins of fame....

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    2. Crystal, he'll be lucky to get a lumber ad for dead wood.

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  6. A judge has just ruled that the mother can take her daughter from the hospital but she will be entirely responsible for her health. He refused to force the hospital to allow an outside doctor to perform the surgery to inset a trach and gastric feeding tube. There is a federal court hearing this afternoon.

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    1. The coroner has signed off. What is going to happen when they leave the hospital and she stops breathing? will they call 911? What ambulance will transfer a deceased person? This is totally insane and all the troll twitter/facebook accts set up for this and somehow (of course) blaming it on the bogus "Death panels" (of another braindead) and Obamacare! I would not blame the outside world if they think Americans are completely uneducated home skooled idiots b/c it you read all the blather the voices of reason like Doc's here and some Nurses are drowned out with teh stupid!
      Oh and CHO "has no 'compassion'"...? Hello Jahi died 3 weeks ago I'm sure they had plenty of compassion & caring before being slandered all over the flippin' intertubes!

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    2. Crystalwolflady, what sources are you following for this information? I'd like to follow along as well.

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    3. The twitter hastage #JahiMcMath. Be prepared. Alot of stupid abounds. :(
      They just got out of FED court but no one has updated yet.

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    4. My heart goes out to the family but having her removed from the hospital is wrong. She deserves to be able to pass away with dignity not spend years on machines that won't do anything anyway. I really wish that the judges had made the correct decision in this case because as DocBastard said they have now set a very dangerous precedent :( they also have a doctor who is apparently willing to put in the tubes she'll need to survive. I don't know how any doctor could agree to do that

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  8. Oh my god. I have been obsessed with this story as well.. Thank so much for being a voice of reason here Doc! I went through the comments on the facebook page and I was devastated by the ignorance and, as you correctly named it, MALinformartion I found. I agree to your opinion on faith, it is a very good thing to believe in something, especially when going through such a hard time. Although it can cause harm when you follow it blindly and deny any scientific counter-argument, as we see here.

    One question, by the way: I know it is unethical and would never be performed anyway, but I am curious if it was even possible.. In a situation like this, would it be possible to transplant a living brain out of a dying body into this living body with a dead brain? I know it sounds creepy and would be a horrible, horrible idea to actually do that. I am just asking out of pure scientific curiosity :)

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    1. I was wondering the same thing... Morbid curiosity.

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    2. No, impossible. The brainstem would have to be reconnected to the spinal cord, and those neurons don't have the capability of healing. Perhaps at some point in the future, but right now we don't have the technology.

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    3. OK - I understand the neurons supposedly don't have the ability to heal - but isn't a spinal cord that's healed with stem cells mean that they do? Please clarify if I am grossly mistaken.


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    4. Those experiments are being done in mice last I checked. Human trials are perhaps decades away. That's pure conjecture, and I could be wrong about the time frame.

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  9. You ever notice how those who claim that "The hospital is playing God" are trying to play God themselves? They, without any true medical knowledge, are demanding that the hospital keep biological medical processes going. If Jahi is brain dead, it's her time to go, and no amount of playing God will bring her back

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    1. Super,You are so right! B/c according to God's will Jahi died on 12.12.13 and then she was revived by medical staff (against god's will)? Logic is not applicable to them.

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    2. Yes, they are trying to play God, and it's WRETCHED!

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  10. Hi DocBastard,

    New reader as of last week. I am from Alameda, 10 minutes from Oakland. This story is on the news all the time!!

    There is no shortage of "malinformation" on the family's Go Fund Me website that has raised over $46k. My lord, look at the hope that most/all of the donators are giving to this family.

    http://www.gofundme.com/jahi-mcmath

    Truly a tragedy all around.

    Stacey

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    1. I have reported the GoFundMe site for fraud, because that's what it is IMO. They are asking for donations for Jahi's care when she has been dead for nearly a month. The only care that she needs is a funeral. And the family certainly need some sort of bereavement counselling. That is going to cost a lot less than the $50k or so that they have already raised.

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    2. Wonder whose social security number they used, and who will be paying income taxes on the funds raised?

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  11. The fact that the court system has permitted the family to take Jahi from the hospital is amazing - I don't understand how they can see it that way when presented themselves with the medical information from all sources. I'm sure that they were told the MANY attempts at proving that she is "brain dead" (and has correctly been demonstrated OVER AND OVER). Confounding for me.
    I'm a mama of two children and while I couldn't imagine having to watch my child be "dead" but still alive (body only) - I can sympathize with the difficulty to disconnect the tubes and such and not be able to touch and be "with" the person we love so much. HOWEVER - as you have pointed out previously - without brain function, that person is no longer WITH, the spirit of who that person was is gone and it is simply just a body now.
    I have had conversations with my family, friends and husband - my husband does not see this sort of situation the same as I. He has indicated that should I ever become "brain dead" but with the ability to still be maintained with ventilation that he would NOT pull the plug. THIS MAKES ME SOOOOOO ANGRY!!!! I have told him that I would prefer to be let go and my memory to be maintained and not just be "around" for the sake of being around. Thankfully my family and friends agree with me.
    Being a nurse myself and god willing will be a nurse in a ICU setting once I have my BSN - I wonder how I would be able to approach this family and try to make a difference in this family. Clearly they have their own opinions and no matter how much educating everyone is attempting, this family doesn't want to hear it. It's sad in every which way.

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  12. This is the kind of BS that is driving me Crazy! "Medical experts say that without nutrition, a patient's body starts suffering irreversible damage within two to four weeks."

    But not a Braid dead body!
    http://bit.ly/JQnpPY
    On BCN they "reported" she was going to be moved for "further treatment"!
    I asked what "further treatments" for a dead body...at the morgue?
    I called them "retarded" for "reporting" such a thing the editor was "insulted" and considered my words "harsh".
    I couldn't even answer. These reporters don't take the time to educate themselves or even use teh googles to understand
    there is not further tx for a dead body. Except to have autopsy and embalmed... and laid to rest.
    A gag order may have been put on the family, not sure but in one article they said "After spending weeks in a very public and tense fight with the hospital, Jahi's family does not plan to disclose any more about their plans for her continued care until she is resettled, her uncle, Omari Sealey, told reporters."
    http://bit.ly/1g7zN9p
    This is setting a horrible precedent. That is you stick your fingers in your ears and say lalalalalalalalalal and that its your belief it doesn't matter what the law is.And you get your way even if under the law, and 7 MD's they say your child is dead but YOU believe, that sky daddy is going to come and save your little baby...
    And then who will pay for this whole three ring circus.
    Well its not over.
    I don't see it ending well since there IS no SNF Facility run by "new life" or whatever its called Licensed in NY. And even if there was there is the issue of what Dr. will do procedures on a dead person?

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  13. I have no knowledge of US legal system, but I wonder if it is possible for the hospital to legally defend intself against the court, that effectively forced the hospital to for more than 3 weeks do medical procedures on effectivelly (and legaly) dead human corpse? Even without the death certificate?
    I mean - could it be possibly considered "human remains desecration" (I don't know the actual technical term), that is the hospital continually ordered to commit?

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    1. I'm not familiar with the local laws either.

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    2. I was wondering the same thing. Apparently the maximum compensation that they can claim from the hospital for death due to negligence is £250k, whereas they can get up to £30 million if Jahi was left brain damaged but alive. I don't know if they family are being greedy or that is what their scumbag lawyer has advised them to do, but towards the end of this video you will hear how the uncle describes £250k as 'chump change'.

      http://www.ktvu.com/videos/news/mcmath-vigil-raw-video-of-jahi-mcmaths-mothers/vCLZHH/

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    3. I have seen this. But they have intentionally, with no logical reason, prevented post-mortem examination of this dead body for nearly a month. I guess this would render any further claims futile.

      I they are really being greedy, they either know her death is not the hospital's failure, or they are doing it in the most idiot way.

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  14. Hi Doc,
    I think someone may have asked this question already but I'm curious. If there is no blood flow to Jahi's brain does that mean the brain will start to decompose in her body? I'm not sure if this a valid question or not.

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    1. I don't think so. There are cases of brain-dead pregnant women being kept on the machines essentially as an incubator for weeks (perhaps months) until the baby can be born. But there just aren't a lot of cases like this out there, because most families come to their senses and the machines are turned off.

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    2. One thing I haven't seen addressed is why/how the blood flow to the brain stops after brain death. I understand why the brain dies - it's deprived of oxygenated blood. But the images I've seen of a person with blood flow versus a brain-dead patient make it seem like doors have abruptly slammed shut in the latter.

      Does something happen in the brain or the surrounding tissues which physically cuts off the brain's ability to receive blood flow? Or is there still circulation or flow, but it doesn't show on tests (maybe due to blood chemistry)? The only example I can think of is contrast medium. The person with brain activity activates the medium and shows blood flow. The brain dead person cannot activate the medium and no blood flow is shown, even if blood is actually moving through their brain. Hope that makes sense. Thanks for any explanation.

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    3. You probably have it backwards - her brain lost its blood flow due to cardiac arrest. By the time the heart was restarted, there was likely severe cerebral oedema due to a reperfusion injury. Her brain, with nowhere else to go, likely herniated and cut off the blood supply permanently, which then clotted off.

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    4. This video does a great job at explaining the difference between brain stem death and coma, anatomy, and how being placed on a ventilator before brain stem death can allow the heart to beat and the deceased appear to be just sleeping.
      http://youtu.be/Ffqz-vKZO5Q

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  15. If you want to enhance your calm, don't go to #JahiMcMath at Twitter. People insist the family has the right to force the hospital to keep their deceased daughter on the ventilator. Also, the diagnosis could be wrong, you know, and she could wake up, start dancing and singing show tunes any minute now. OK, that was rude of me. Nevertheless they believe the family has the right to decide when their daughter is dead.

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    1. Reading those comments makes me feel both upset that they are wrong and furious that they are giving the family hope where none exists

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    2. I agree, especially about giving the family false hope. I'm also upset that people ascribe evil intent to the hospital and the medical personnel who have taken care of Jahi. It can't be easy to take care of someone they know is dead, and be vilified by so many ignorant people.

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    3. I feel empathy for the medical personnel, who must be EXTREMELY traumatized.

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  16. I was reading articles tonight and it saddens me what people are saying. It is scary to see how many people think that she is still alive. What is even scarier is when you have doctors perpetuating these lies. I have three kids and would be completely devastated if this happened to one of them but at some point you have to face reality. I would personally donate if something tragic happened to them. I myself am a registered organ donor. It seems like there are so many kids who could benefit from her.

    Dr. Bastard why do doctors make medical claim with nothing to back it up and tear down other doctors because they don't agree with them. I know in America there is the whole freedom of speech but don't doctors commit to doing no harm. Isn't the lie harming her family and others who might end up in this situation. Also why would a doctor claim she is alive if they have never examined her in person? Why are people without medical degrees ultimately end up making these decisions to keep her on the ventilator? I know they get input from doctors but it would seem like if someone who had a working knowledge of medicine had to make the decision it would already be over. Sorry if I am rambling my cold has my thoughts a little scattered.

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  17. For the first comment is the article about Jahi's heart beating meaning her spirit remains with her body, thus making her alive, that would mean that her spirit is simply trapped in a body with a dead brain. Of the brain's dead and the heart still beats, and the family (or the Facebook commenter) truly believes that the heartbeat signifies the presence of the spirit, wouldn't that mean that Jahi is a spirit trapped in a dead body and that the moral thing to do would be to allow the spirit to move on?

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    1. It also causes no end of issues with heart-donation! But then apparently some people don't like organ donation either...

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  18. Apologies if this sounds crass, but seing as there is no bloodflow to the brain is it not now maintainence of a, to all intents, headless body?

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    1. Physiologically speaking, yes.

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    2. Pretty sure no-one has survived vascular decapitiation. Maybe the Doctors should start referring to it as such?

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  19. Hi DocBastard!
    I scoured the local media's "coverage" and message board comments before having the guts to write about this sick, sad tale.
    We all know HIPAA has muzzled Children's Hospital. But HIPAA doesn't muzzle hospital visitors nor does it muzzle others who ma have known the family or Jahi.
    I tripped over a couple of reader posts on SFGate that mentioned the possible co-morbidities of asthma, Type 2 diabetes, and an unnamed familial predisposition to bleeding. Add that to the obvious obesity, plus family members possibly feeding the kid and then playing nurse with a Yankauer suction... well, let's just say 'twas a mess in the making.

    Someone upstream asked about the condition of the brain in a brain-dead person. I describe the process (very oversimplified, I know!) as being similar to a diabetic losing circulation in a toe or foot. Eventually it rots. The brain starts undergoing autolysis pretty quickly. This many weeks out, there's probably not much in there but a whole lot of goo. Just wait for the mess they get if they start feeding the body. Don't even want to think of the autolysis going on in the gut. Ewwww.

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  20. I hate that I have allowed myself to get sucked into this, yet I look for updates all day and stay up way past my bedtime reading comments on any rational blog I can find. I assume Jahi has been brought either to NY or to her family home. What troubles me more is that the lawyer is telling anyone who will listen that Jahi is in bad shape because the mean hospital wouldn't feed her for 24 days (yet yesterday the grandma said Jahi was getting better and had a glow). Everything the lawyer says sounds like a set up for litigation. Am I the only one that hopes like hell that the hospital comes out fighting in court and proves they did no wrong?
    Hemorrhages happen. She isn't the first to die from tonsil hemorrhage, people can die a week after a regular old tonsillectomy from massive, fast hemorrhage that throws the heart into arrest.
    I do feel terrible for this family and have shed tears over and over- I really believed the grief was doing the decision making. But what about everyone else In that ICU, in the hospital?
    I cannot imagine having a child in that hospital during the past month, the stress and fear must be overwhelming- especially for those nurses/Drs who had to care for her with this family staring them down. I can only imagine the added fears of those with scheduled surgeries. Shit, my son had a sore throat this morning and looking at his tonsils nearly gave me a panic attack. I don't know how a mother/ family gets through this. I imagine I would need to be in a medically induced coma if this happened to my child. But I hope that I could get my shit together long enough to give another family A miracle through organ donation.
    On the same day, Dec 9, a woman was pronounced brain dead after her husband beat her death- her family honored her by donating her organs- 7 organs were donating- they had the dignity to give a miracle to others (Sanaz Nezami). Meanwhile a dead little girl is getting poked and prodded and used as preparation for a big old lawsuit.

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    1. Well, I hope the lawsuit won't be possible, because the family and Dolan are now for nearly 4 weeks unnecessarily preventing an autopsy on a effectively dead body.

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  21. There is a very good video on YouTube entitled Understanding Brain Death-English that all of you should watch. It is narrated by a neurologist and he explains the difference between brain death and coma. He explains brain stem death which is the death of the cortex as well as the brain stem. It uses animation to explain everything. Very informative and yes the brain cells begin to lyse and the brain liquefies when it dies.

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  22. Not to be gross but the Medical Director of the Pediatric ICU of Children's Hospital stated in this court document: http://media.nbcbayarea.com/documents/HeidiFlori.pdf
    that Jahi McMath's body is greatly deteriorating. One of the things she said in the court filings was that Jahi had on January 2nd "stool that was clinically consistent with defecation of the tissues lining the bowel (i.e. the body is sloughing her gut)." So I think even with mechanical ventilation her organs are, if not decomposing, are deteriorating.

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  23. Really enjoying your blog (thank you Sprocket for the link!), thank you for the informative and most excellent writing.

    One of the stupidest comments on the Jahi FB page:

    "Also some people say that up to 6 doctors diagnosed her as "brain dead". I thought I really heard it was up to 2 at CHO and then the other doctor came there from Stanford. Stanford is one of the clients of Sam Singer, the PR guy for CHO!"

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  24. I hate to admit it, but "A child is not dead unless her mother say she is" made me LOL. Literally.

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  25. This story has been fascinating, sad to say. I have actually learned a lot, the Lazarus reflex, the hot nose thing, and so on. I have a really gross question, though. The brain of a brain dead person being kept on a ventilator liquefies in about a week. The medical report that one of the specialists called in on this case to confirm brain death notes that on December 23 the liquefying process had already started (you have to extrapolate it from the findings). If everything is in a state of decay, won't that liquefied brain eventually find the path of least resistance and start to come out of some part of the skull?
    It's nasty but I'm asking from a honest curiosity.

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    Replies
    1. Uncle Omari tweeted (using very colourful language) about constant (*&^% drainage from the childs nose a few weeks ago.

      Delete
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