Family of Jahi McMath Can Move Brain-Dead Girl

Hospital agrees after mother takes responsibility for 13-year-old
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2014 3:25 PM CST
Family of Jahi McMath Can Move Brain-Dead Girl
Marvin Winkfield places his arm around his wife, Nailah Winkfield, mother of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, as they wait outside a courtroom Friday in Oakland, Calif.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The mother of Jahi McMath has won the right to move her daughter from Children's Hospital Oakland, where she was declared brain-dead more than three weeks ago. The hospital and Jahi's family reached a deal in court today in which Jahi's mom, Nailah Winkfield, will assume responsibility for the girl at the moment of transfer, reports the Oakland Tribune. Much remains in flux, though. It's not clear when Jahi will be moved, or where she will be taken. Also confusing: The judge refused to order the hospital to insert breathing and feeding tubes, or allow an outside doctor to do so, which had been described as necessary before any such transfer. The deal allows Jahi to be moved while on a ventilator, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Right now, arrangements are being made, and what we needed to know was that when all the balls were in line, that we could move quickly," said the family attorney. "So this is a victory in terms of getting us one step closer." The hospital reiterated in court that it considers Jahi to be deceased. "It's horrible that this child has died," said the hospital's attorney, who choked up while addressing the media. "It's also horrible that it's so difficult for her family to accept that death, and I wish and I constantly think that, wouldn't it be great if they could come to terms with this terrible tragic event and I wouldn't have to stand in front of you time after time." (More Jahi McMath stories.)

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