Girl's family seeks reversal of brain-death ruling

The family of a California teenager declared brain-dead after suffering complications from sleep apnea surgery is seeking an unprecedented court order declaring her alive.

The family's attorney, Chris Dolan, argued in court papers filed this week that 13-year-old Jahi McMath is no longer brain-dead and shows significant signs of life. The girl's mother has kept her organs functioning on life support at an undisclosed location since her operation went awry at an Oakland hospital, where she was determined to be brain-dead in December.

Dolan acknowledges that a recovery from brain death would be a medical first. But he says brain scans show electrical activity and that she responds to verbal commands from her mother.

Lawyers for UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital say the evidence in Jahi's case still supports the determination that she is legally dead.

SF Examiner
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