Lawyer Claims Brain-Dead Teen's 'Health Is Improving'

Dolan defends role in tragic case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2014 3:29 AM CST
Updated Jan 9, 2014 5:26 AM CST
Lawyer: Brain-Dead Teen 'Getting Better'
Attorney Christopher Dolan, left, representing the family of Jahi McMath, gestures beside Omari Sealey, Jahi's uncle, during a media conference in San Francisco.    (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The California 13-year-old declared dead after tonsil surgery is getting better at the undisclosed facility where she was moved earlier this week, family lawyer Christopher Dolan claims. Jahi McMath has had feeding and tracheostomy tubes inserted and "doctors are optimistic that her condition has stabilized and that her health is improving from when she was taken from" the hospital, Dolan tweeted. He says she is now "doing very well" and is getting the treatment she should have had weeks ago, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Dolan's opinion aside, the Los Angeles Times points out that recovery is not possible, and that machines can only keep her blood flowing for a finite amount of time; in only rare cases have the bodies of the brain-dead been "maintained" longer than months.

In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, the veteran trial lawyer defends his role in the case and says he has been receiving death threats. He describes himself as a pro-choice, "cafeteria Catholic" who had to do plenty of soul-searching before getting involved, but will "go down swinging" in his efforts to help the family. "If it was my daughter, I'd do everything I'm doing for this family," he says. "The one thing the family was going to know at the end of the day is that the family had somebody who fought for them." He stresses that he is helping the family for free and will not get involved in any negligence lawsuits. (More Jahi McMath stories.)

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