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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Family, ethics, medicine and law collide in Jahi McMath’s life — or death

By Cathy Lynn Grossman
Religion News
Originally posted January 3, 2014

Is Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old whose entire brain has ceased to function, dead or alive?

Must doctors at a California hospital operate to prepare her for a move to a care facility in New York even though the hospital insists she is dead? No doctor can be compelled to treat the dead.

Or is she alive now and wanting to live on? Her mother, Nailah Winkfield, insists that removing the life-support machinery, which is performing all Jahi’s bodily functions, is the same as killing her daughter. Only a court order keeps Jahi still on life support, and that order expires on Tuesday (Jan. 7).

On Friday, a federal magistrate was expected to begin mediating the three-week-long dispute between Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland and Jahi’s parents. But the battle goes beyond the courtroom, the hospital, and Jahi’s family because American society still struggles with defining death.

The entire article is here.