California hospital ordered to keep comatose teen on life support

Dec. 20, 2013 at 11:07 PM   |   0 comments

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A judge ordered a California hospital Friday to keep a teenage girl who went into a coma after her tonsils were removed on a ventilator temporarily.

Judge Evelio Grillo said the family of Jahi McMath, 13, is entitled to a second opinion on her condition, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Lawyers for Children's Hospital Oakland argued that Jahi is brain dead and further medical treatment, including life support is unwarranted.

Grillo said he hopes his order will give the family "peace of mind by Christmas" by providing more information on whether anything can be done for the teenagers. He asked the hospital and family to agree on a doctor by Monday.

Jahi had tonsil surgery to help with sleep apnea, weight gain and other health problems. She began bleeding from her nose after the surgery and went into cardiac arrest.

The family went to court, saying they wanted her to remain on life support at least through Christmas.

"Can't we have her for Christmas?" Jahi's mother, Nailah Winkfield, told the Oakland Tribune. "I told them, 'You better not take my child off that machine. You do not have my permission.'"

Hospital officials have declined to comment on the case, citing privacy laws, but said they have asked the family to grant them legal permission to do so. Grillo's order includes allowing the hospital to go public.

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