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Court order keeping Jahi McMath on ventilator expires at 5 p.m. today

A court order keeping a 13-year-old brain-dead girl on a ventilator in Oakland expires at 5 p.m. Monday as her family tries to find a facility to take her in.

Jahi McMath's family has been fighting to keep her on a ventilator ever since she became brain-dead on Dec. 9 after a tonsillectomy at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. 

She was declared brain-dead after three tests showed there was no "cerebral activity," according to court records. That finding was affirmed by an independent neurologist appointed last week by an Alameda County judge whose order to keep Jahi on a ventilator expires at 5 p.m.

Jahi's family has since been trying to find a facility to take her in, but they have so far been unsuccessful. Two facilities in Southern California withdrew their offers, NBC Bay Area reported, and now a family attorney is in talks with a care center in New York.

The attorney, Chris Dolan, told the station that the family views the New York site as its "last, last hope."

In the court papers, Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland has argued that because Jahi is dead, "practically and legally," there is no course of medical treatment to administer.

After initially suggesting it would oppose a transfer, Children’s Hospital said on Friday that it is willing to work with the family.

"Children’s Hospital will of course continue to do everything legally and ethically permissible to support the family of Jahi McMath,” the hospital said in a letter to Dolan. “In that regard, Children’s will allow a lawful transfer of Jahi’s body in its current state to another location if the family can arrange such a transfer and Children's can legally do so.”

On Sunday, a spokeswoman for the hospital said they had not heard from any facility about transferring Jahi's body.

"We need to be able to talk to the other facility to understand what it is they are capable of doing,'' Cynthia Chiarappa told NBC. "This is not transferring an individual in a vegetative state, but a dead body.''

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jason.wells@latimes.com

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