The latest in the saga is Jahi's family's response to the demurrers by the hospital and Dr. Frederick Rosen. The demurrers, in case you missed them, were the hospital's and Dr. Rosen's challenges of the legal sufficiency of Nailah Winkfield's case against them. On July 17th, Nailah Winkfield's lawyer Bruce Brusavich (love that name, by the way) filed his response to their response (thanks to Professor Thaddeus Pope for posting the documents). The way the US legal system seems to work, I expect that there will be responses to the responses to the responses, then responses to those responses, and then even more responses, and eventually the whole system will collapse under the weight of 81 million tonnes of paper.
But I digress again.
I've reviewed Brusavich's response, and a few things stood out immediately.
It seems Brusavich is taking a note from Dr. Paul Byrne's notebook and is now putting "brain dead" in quotations. Furthermore, and even more surprising, he is continuing to claim that Jahi is "very much alive". The rationale for this opinion is elucidated a little further on:
Yes indeed, they are saying she is not dead because her hypothalamus is functional and she has "intermittent responsiveness to verbal command". Hypothalamic function does not equal life, though responsiveness does. It would, however, mean that her entire brain is not dead. Whether that would change anything is up to the lawyers to argue. I hope that they have proof other than a few vague videos released late last year that show her moving. If she is in fact responding to verbal commands, then that does indicate consciousness. I will reserve judgment on that until I actually see it.
Then Brusavich goes over the details of the case with a few rather comical errors.
I would have thought Brusavich would have learned the difference between "pallet" and palate" since the last time he made this exact same mistake.
Maybe I'm the only one who finds that funny.
Brusavich then goes on to criticise Dr. Rosen for not informing anyone about his suspicion of a medialised carotid artery. I've been criticised by a certain someone for downplaying this point as well, so if you would indulge me for a moment, please allow me to clarify my position: A medialised carotid artery without question increases the risk for intra-operative or post-operative bleeding after this sort of surgery. That is not at all in doubt. However, informing anyone in the recovery room of his suspicion was unnecessary and irrelevant, because any bleeding that occurs after ENT surgery is easily diagnosable. Jahi obviously had a massive haemorrhage after the procedure, and everyone around her obviously knew about it. Jahi knew, the family knew, the nurses knew, hell the custodians probably knew. So how would informing anyone of this possible anatomic anomaly have helped? Would it have helped them diagnose bleeding? No. Would it have prevented the bleeding? NO. Would it have stopped the bleeding? NO. Would it have changed anything in any way? NO. This is a non-issue. Full stop.
The nurse responsible for caring for Jahi that evening recorded in her chart (several days later, mind you) that she repeatedly informed the PICU doctor about Jahi's condition, but no action was taken. Dr. Rosen stated in his demurrer that he was not aware of Jahi's haemorrhage because he was not contacted. I find both of these points very difficult to believe, though I am not claiming either is untrue because I was not there. I just think it highly unlikely that intensive care doctors would ignore a bleeding patient for hours, refusing to see her. I find it just as unlikely that the surgeon who performed the procedure wasn't called during any of this to let him know that his patient was haemorrhaging.
Was a PICU doctor called? Probably. Was Dr. Rosen called? He claims not.
Unfortunately Brusavich then enters a legalese Twilight Zone and starts referring to other cases, using terms such as "judicially noticeable", "prima facie evidence", "res judicata", "collateral estoppel", andsnkseio ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz ZZZZZZzzzzzzz
Wha . . . what? Oh, sorry. I think I fell asleep there for a bit.
Anyway, Brusavich concludes (sort of) that Jahi is alive due to some MRI results, EEG results showing neuroelectrical activity, Jahi's supposed responsiveness, and the fact that she started puberty. Is any of this true? We'll have to wait and see.
What I will say (yet again) is that if they can actually prove that Jahi is alive, she will be the first documented patient in history to have survived and recovered from brain death.
I'll believe it when I see it.