Jahi McMath…A Miracle Or Bad Science?

October 4, 2014 — 1 Comment

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.***

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