Jahi McMath: Hospital Cleared in Case of Brain-Dead Girl

Friday, 14 Mar 2014 12:46 PM

By Ken Mandel

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The state of California has ruled that Children's Hospital Oakland did not violate medical standards in the the case of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old who was declared brain-dead in December after a routine tonsillectomy.

The report, which was released this week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the hospital was responsible only for an electronic database problem. The board's findings didn't sit well with the Oakland girl's family, who contend that the state Department of Health didn't conduct a thorough investigation.

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The McMath family was "never interviewed, and myself as an officer of the court, are deeply offended and, once again, feel betrayed by the medical profession," lawyer Chris Dolan told NBC Bay Area on Thursday via email. 

Dolan added that the findings are an example of the "fox guarding the henhouse," according to The San Francisco Chronicle. 

Children's Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Durand released a statement regarding the report.

"We are very pleased with the results of the survey," he said. "We were found to be in compliance with [the] standards in every area. No deficiencies of quality of care were identified in the survey."

McMath's uncle, Omari Sealey, called this week's report "B.S." in a series of tweets, and questioned why the family was not interviewed.

McMath had surgery to treat her sleep apnea on Dec. 9, but started massively bleeding soon after and went into cardiac arrest. She was pronounced brain-dead on Dec. 12, but her family fought in court to keep her alive on breathing machines because her heart was still beating. A judge ruled that the girl was legally dead on Dec. 24.

On Jan. 6, nearly a month after the operation, McMath's body was released to her mother, Nailah Winkfield. In February, Winkfield published an open letter saying Jahi was "much better physically." 

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