A judge ordered on Tuesday that a 13-year-old Northern California girl declared brain dead after suffering complications following a tonsillectomy be taken off life support.
But Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo gave Jahi McMath’s family until 5pm on December 30 to file an appeal.
She will remain on life support until then.
The issue was ordered after Dr Paul Graham Fisher, from Stanford University, testified earlier in the day that Jahi meets all the criteria of brain death – the second expert to reach such a conclusion.
The Children’s Hospital of Oakland filed court papers on Tuesday morning asking that the girl be taken off life support after doctors there also concluded she was brain dead.
But her family wants to keep the 13-year-old connected to a breathing machine and has asked for a third evaluation, believing that ‘miracles happen’.
‘Because Ms. McMath is dead, practically and legally, there is no course of medical treatment to continue or discontinue; there is nothing to which the family’s consent is applicable,’ the hospital’s Tuesday court filing stated.
Fisher first provided his opinion to Alameda County Judge Evelio Grillo behind closed doors on Tuesday morning.
Fisher briefly provided his conclusions in open court that Jahi has no brain activity. Fisher left court without taking questions.
Dr. Robin Shanahan, a Children’s Hospital doctor, was next called to testify in the judge’s chambers.
Alameda County Judge Evelio Grillo has previously ordered Jahi to remain on life support until Dec. 30, or until further order from the court.