Archives For Jahi McMath

Jahi McMath

A photo of Jahi McMath that the family’s attorney says was taken Oct. 2, 2014. (Courtesy of Christopher Dolan)

Today Wesly Smith posted on his blog that a physician from California who is licensed to exam Jahi has declared she is NOT “brain dead”.

He quoted from the Medical Futility Blog written by Thaddeus Mason Pope.

I’ve been following these blogs for four years as well as reading scientific studies by the people quoted below.I know how they feel about the subject but it is not the point of this post to go into their views of brain death and medical ethics.

Here are the credentials of the physician who examined Jahi.

Since the Certificate of Death was issued, Jahi has been examined by a physician duly licensed to practice in the State of California who is an experienced pediatric neurologist with triple Board Certifications in Pediatrics,  Neurology (with special competence in Child Neurology), and Electroencephalography. 

The physician has a sub-specialty in BRAIN DEATH and has published and lectured extensively on the topic, both nationally and internationally.  This physician has personally examined Jahi and has reviewed a number of her medical records and studies performed, including an MRI/MRA done at Rutgers University Medical Center on September 26, 2014. This doctor has also examined 22 videotapes of Jahi responding to specific requests to respond and move.

The MRI scan of September 26, 2014, is not consistent with chronic brain death MRI scans. Instead, Jahi’s MRI demonstrates vast areas of structurally and relatively preserved brain, particularly in the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and cerebellum.

Read the entire article here as I’m not going to to into the whole thing but I will comment on the first two commenters. A physician, Dr. Troug and Robert Veach, PhD  that I have referenced several times in my blogs.

Dr. Robert Troug, who has always said brain death is not true death, but still advocated for organ donation ONLY telling the truth to patients families. He believed that if the families knew the truth they would agree to still donate. Dr. Troug is the one responsible for calling brain death a legal fiction.

Regardless of one’s views about brain death, if these developments are correct then this is a bombshell. Given the intensive scrutiny that this case received, I have to believe that she fulfilled all of the standard criteria for the diagnosis of brain death when she was initially diagnosed. In spite of all of the cases reported over the years in the media about patients who “recovered” from brain death, I think we have always been able to say that there has NEVER been a patient correctly diagnosed as being brain dead who has developed neurologically functioning inconsistent with that diagnosis, and I think we have all found that reassuring. But this changes all that. Furthermore, unless her parents had pushed (to an unreasonable extent, in the minds of many) for continuation of life support, we would never have known that this potential existed. Hence, it is not sufficient to say that this is a “one off” case that we can ignore, because we do not know how often this might occur if such support was more often provided. Bob Truog, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Robert Veatch

Dr. Veatch is Professor Emeritus of Medical Ethics at Georgetown and Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, had this to say concerning Jahi, “If all of this is true, Jahi is clearly alive. Moreover, since death requires irreversible loss of brain functions, she never has been dead. Now, how do we know that all of this is true? It would be helpful to know who the licensed practitioner is. Is it Alan Shewmon? It appears that the family attorney is not trying to argue that she would be alive even if all functions of the entire brain were irreversibly lost as long as the circulatory system continued to function. Some of us think that is a defensible position (even if we do not personally hold it for our own deaths.”

“The claims amount two observations: that she is responsive to verbal commands and that she has hormonal and other activity in the hypothalamus or pituitary. The responsiveness claim is, in some ways, more interesting because it leads to a direct rejection of the standard tests for death based on brain criteria and, in fact, is a claim that she not only has brain function, but it at least minimally conscious. Clearly, the full set of tests for death based on brain function need to be repeated in a credible way.”

I know a lot of you follow this blog and aren’t going to be AS excited about this as I am, neither do your realize the implications of what this could mean. Already some of those in the organ donation industry are questioning IF the video was edited, (sounds like Planned Parenthood, right?) Or the fact that she COULD have already had her period.

Let me tell you plain and simple corpse’s don’t move, menstruate, deliver babies or have ANY blood flow. 

Oh, I expect the rebuttal of this from many who benefit from your organs being harvested. This is just the beginning. But the fact is Jahi is alive and the hospital and those who examined her and all the thousands of people who are declared “brain dead” every year are wrong.

Definition of Irreversible ComaUp until 1968, when the committee of 14 men came up with the term “brain death” for someone in a deep coma we had ONE definition of death.

An individual who has sustained irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions. 

Your organs need oxygen to be kept alive or vital.

That is why someone pronounced dead on the side of road, does not have vital organs. You must have oxygen to keep those organs alive to be transplanted into a person.

Now the Uniform Definition of Death Act NOW says this, An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead. A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards.

I am sick and tired of young people going to get their drivers license and NOT being told what they are signing up for. A quick conversation with the lady at the counter and you have signed a legally binding document. It may sound altruistic at the time but let me tell you when you are in a hospital and your loved one is seriously injured you see it differently.

It is not so easy when you are in the hospital and talking to medical doctors about your loved one being cut open from the sternum down WITH YOUR HEART STILL BEATING and you KNOW they had no clue what they were signing up for.

Dr Byrne and Missy Caulk I was with Dr. Byrne at a conference on Brain Death in Livonia this past year. He has seen Jahi several times and told me again, “Jahi, is not dead.”

Dr. Byrne was is a neonatologist and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics. He is past President of the Catholic Medical Association. He is the producer of the film Continuum of Life and the author of Life, Life Support and Death, Beyond Brain Death, and Brain Death is Not Death.

“When organs are removed from a “brain dead” donor, all the vital signs of the “donors” are still present prior to the harvesting of organs, such as: normal body temperature and blood pressure; the heart is beating; vital organs, like the liver and kidneys, are functioning; and the donor is breathing with the help of a ventilator.”

You might want to read some other success stories that I have blogged about over the years. I have a good one coming up that happened right here in the U.S.

In the opinion of the pediatric neurologist who has examined Jahi, having spent hours with her and reviewed numerous videotapes of her, that time has proven that Jahi has not followed the trajectory of imminent total body deterioration and collapsed that was predicted back in December of 2013, based on the diagnosis of brain death.

Her brain is alive in the neuropathological sense and it is not necrotic. At this time, Jahi does not fulfill California’s statutory definition of death, which requires the irreversible absence of all brain function, because she exhibits hypothalamic function and intermittent responsiveness to verbal commands. 

Please email me if you want me to send you the card to Protect and Preserve Your Life IF you are ever incapacitated and can’t speak on your own behalf Include your mailing address and I will put it in the mail asap for you. I will also include a pamphlet The Truth About Organ Donation. Carry it with you and tell your family your wishes.

Remember they want Jahi to die, and have for two years because IF she continues to improve the whole concept of  “brain death” will fall apart.

Print this card and carry it with you

 

 

[email protected] 

 

 

 

***highlights mine for emphasis***

Brain death

Thanks to all of you who have been sending me email links to the recent news of Jahi McMath. I have been following the reports since the lawsuit was filed by the families attorney on Tuesday.

Jahi McMath

A photo of Jahi McMath that the family’s attorney says was taken Oct. 2, 2014. (Courtesy of Christopher Dolan)

Jahi was pronounced “brain dead” late last year. As the organ donation people circled her mother to give her organs to someone in need, the mother stood fast in her determination that her child was not dead. The only thing that kept her on a ventilator was going to court and getting a judge to release her into the care of her mother at another facility. It turns out that facility was in N.J where they honor a families request of not accepting the diagnosis of brain death based on religious grounds.

Before she was released from Oakland Children’s Hospital, she was given a death certificate by the corner in the California.

Many of the “experts” have been saying on blogs and forums that her body would shut down and disintegrate, calling her a cadaver. However, this has not happened.

It now appears she is responding to commands, has blood flow to the brain via an EEG and a MRI test.

Physicians Disagree

Tests and examinations of Jahi have been performed at Rutgers University in New Jersey with brain researchers and neurologists reviewing and performing them, Dolan said. Those working with the International Brain Research Foundation include Elena Labkovsky, who performed an EEG on Jahi, Cuban neurologist Dr. Calixto Machado and Dr. Charles Prestigiacomo, chair of the department of neurological surgery at Rutgers.

DeFina, who joined Thursday’s presentation by video, said an MRI shows Jahi’s brain is intact and that there is blood flow to it. He said tests show Jahi does not fit the criteria for brain death, though he would not say if that means she is in a persistent vegetated state or some other state.

Jahi McMath is continued evidence that a brain death definition is simply a tool of a fast growing industry that is aggressively attempting to fulfill the requests for healthy organs for transplants. For human organs to be successfully transplanted into another human being they must be fresh or vital which means being removed from a body that is still alive, is still functioning.

Organs from a dead body, a cadaver, are of no life-preserving value to another living human being.

When brain death was first invented at Harvard University in 1968, EEG’s were recommended. They are no longer used to show blood flow…well maybe in smaller rural hospital’s but not in huge transplant centers.

Advocates of brain death always contend that the condition is irreversible, giving the families involved no hope, telling families there is no possible chance of recovery.However, patients who have been pronounced brain dead are still living humans who are perhaps dying from a catastrophic injury to the brain and yet should not be treated as cadavers.

The issue

Jahi was pronounced brain dead by three different doctors in California. Now three or more doctors are saying she is alive and not brain dead. Although many people have awakened from a brain dead diagnosis, the physicians have ALWAYS said it was wrongly diagnosed. If the reports are true about Jahi and I have no reason to believe they are not, will they admit now that people do recover from a diagnosis of brain death?

Medical Director of Mayo Clinic in Arizona Mohamed Rady and JL Verheijde have advocated for the general public, medical community, legal and religious scholars to debate impaired consciousness and brain death.

Perhaps if the death certificate of Jahi McMath is overturned we will finally get that debate. (((One can only hope.))) Medical malpractice lawyers phoenix have mentioned this:

“The scientific uncertainty of defining and determining states of impaired consciousness including brain death have been neither disclosed to the general public nor broadly debated by the medical community or by legal and religious scholars. Heart-beating or non-heart-beating organ procurement from patients with impaired consciousness is de facto a concealed practice of physician-assisted death, and therefore, violates both criminal law and the central tenet of medicine not to do harm to patients. Society must decide if physician-assisted death is permissible and desirable to resolve the conflict about procuring organs from patients with impaired consciousness within the context of the perceived need to enhance the supply of transplantable organs.”

Dr. Paul Byrne, a family consultant and recognized authority on the subject of brain death, upon learning that experts are suggesting that Jahi’s continued presence in the world of the living might be “nothing short of a miracle” responded by saying:

Of course, they would have to say something like that since, being scientists they could not admit that their “universally accepted definition of brain death is wrong.”

Jahi shows every indication of being an integrative, functioning human being. Her body has not disintegrated, the attorney has provided videos showing her moving her feet and hands on command, her body is processing nutrients, she has even begun menstrual periods.  Imagine that a dead person starting her period. (((snark)))

Jahi has healed from her tonsilectomy surgery. No dead body has the capability of healing itself.

 If there is any miracle involved, said Byrne, it is the fact that Jahi’s mother has been successful in keeping the organ donation industry away from her daughter.

Knowing what I know of other families who were pressured into donating their loved one’s organs, many living with horrible regrets…I have to agree that IS a miracle that Nailah Wakefield has been able to do that.

***I hope to get back to blogging here regularly, as a Realtor in Michigan, my busy season is the summer. I have been saving a lot of articles I will share with you in future posts.***

Holding on til’ the day I see it all..fighting for justice.

Jamie Caulk Today is my son Jamie’s birthday. The third one he has spent in heaven.

For those that don’t know, Jamie died from injuries sustained in a car accident in Nashville, TN on October 20th, 2011. He was pronounced “brain dead” on the 16th, then it was overturned, and they did more testing.

A blood flow test that showed he did have blood flow in his brain. After the blood flow test, which was given to him as a confirmatory test the doctors said, “Oh, we expected to see some blood flow”.

Well they sure didn’t tell us that before the test.

We were up against a system, a protocol and doctors who gave us no hope. We were fighting for our son’s life and time. We were denied that.

We were hounded by Organ requestor’s from the time Jamie was in a coma.

Parental Rights

The last couple of months I have been very involved in parental rights issue’s. This is why I support Nailah Wakefield the mother of Jahi McMath to keep her daughter Jahi on life support and Jessica Pelletier’s family to get her out of Boston Children’s Hospital and back to Tufts Medical Center where she was being treated successfully for Mitochondrial disease.

Nailah WinkfieldI know, not in my head but in my heart what these parents are going through.

Yes, the cases are different in Jahi’s, Justina’s and Jamie’s situations but all of them are similar in that the medical care of each child was stripped from the parents with no respect for the parent’s love or concern for their child. (interesting all 3 J’s)

Tragedy

Sometimes tragedy leads to a new perspective for those involved. We see it time and time again, people become involved in a fight for justice because of the pain they have endured. Think of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. This act came out of the kidnapping and sexual molestation of John Walsh’s son, Adam. Good out of evil.

Justina PelletierMy prayer is that the tragedy of holding Justina Pelletier captive for 13 months will become Justina’s Law. This law would give parents the final say in the medical decisions of their child. It would prevent a child being caught in the middle of two different hospitals opinion’s or in what the parents believe is the best course of action.

No one thinks about any of these hard issues’ until it effects your family personally. When it does it changes everything…forever.

Justice for our children

I will keep fighting for parents rights to be granted for the education, health and protection of their children.

No government, regardless of how well-intentioned it might be, can replace the love and nurture of a parent in the life of a child. Parents care, not because their children are “wards” for whom they are responsible. Parents are willing to brave danger and sacrifice, hardship and heartache to ensure the best for their kids.

Jamie Caulk 30th birthday

I miss you Jamie, every second of every day. I am holding on til the day that we finally see it all. I wish you were here today to celebrate your 30th birthday. But, I will honor you by fighting for the children of whom injustice is occurring in the nation.

I will support parents because “I get it.”

 

Judging and Social Media

February 5, 2014 — 1 Comment

Judging and Social Media

Most of the time I hate judgement and I have seen plenty of it lately…mostly on Facebook.

People judge Philip Seymore Hoffman for his drug overdose, they judge the Seattle Seahawks player for loosing his cool after heading to the Super Bowl, they judge Payton Manning for saying something nice to Richard Sherman after his injury, they judge Jahi McMath’s family for wanting to give her time and let’s not even touch on the Coke Commercial that aired during the Super Bowl and has caused such a controversy.

I’m not naive enough to say,“why can’t we all just get along?” People do have a right to their opinions and a right to express them. Let’s just say it makes me sick to read most of them. I have friends on both sides of every issue named above and more.

The ironic thing is that when people disagree they end up judging the person and doing the exact same thing on the other side of issue.

Cs Lewis quote, missy photo

Mercy Over Judgement

James 2:13 says, “There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.”

As C.S.Lewis says in his quote above, we don’t really know a persons temptations, their opportunities, their struggles. Only when a person walks through the exact situation you are in do they have a glimpse of what you are going through. I am learning this by going through my grief journey.

I read a really good blog the other day on Payton Manning being a loser.

I watched on the news this morning Joseph Shrand,MD. speak on drug addiction. I liked his compassion so went and found this blog he had written in Psychology Today and ordered his book.  (We sure do get a lot done in Michigan when we are buried in the snow.)

Social Media and Your Mouth

Social Media has opened up the opportunity for us to spout off a lot of opinions and have them broadcast far and wide. One wrong tweet and your career could be over.

Yesterday was Facebook’s 10 year anniversary, and they did a really cool thing which was to allow people to LOOK BACK via a video of highlights of our life on Facebook in one minute. The one thing that stood out to me was that 99% of the video’s were mostly about family events and milestones.

Do you think our friends would have watched so many if they were all about our careers?

Again…

What can you ever really know of other people’s souls— of their temptations, their opportunities, their struggles? One soul in the whole creation you do know: and it is the only one whose fate is placed in your hands. —C. S.LEWIS

There is a reason scrolling on by is so easy.

 

Change.orgHi everyone,

I just signed the petition “CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OAKLAND: Allow a doctor to perform a tracheotomy for breathing and to insert a feeding tube for Jahi McMath – procedures that would be necessary to transfer Jahi to give her a chance to live” on Change.org.

It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:

http://www.change.org/petitions/children-s-hospital-oakland-allow-a-doctor-to-perform-a-tracheotomy-for-breathing-and-to-insert-a-feeding-tube-for-jahi-mcmath-procedures-that-would-be-necessary-to-transfer-jahi-to-give-her-a-chance-to-live?share_id=IQlUtgBDks&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

Thanks!

Missy

Here is the Facebook group started on her behalf, I would love to have you join.