A 13-year-old Oakland girl declared brain-dead due to complications from a tonsillectomy earlier this month remained on life support Wednesday.
An Alameda County judge on Tuesday declared Jahi McMath brain-dead but gave her family time to appeal the ruling.
Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo told relatives of the girl that they can file an appeal to his decision.
Soon after Jahi had her tonsils removed at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland on Dec. 9, the eighth-grader went into cardiac arrest and the flow of oxygen to her brain was cut off.
She was declared brain-dead after three tests showed there was no "cerebral activity," according to court records.
Paul Graham Fisher, a Stanford pediatric neuro-oncologist appointed to review Jahi's case, affirmed in court Tuesday that the girl met all criteria for being brain-dead. Anticipating the finding, the hospital had submitted a petition asking to remove Jahi from the ventilator.
In the court papers, the hospital argued that because Jahi is dead, "practically and legally," there is no course of medical treatment to administer.
"To be blunt, Children's is merely preserving Ms. McMath's body from the natural postmortem course of events," attorneys for the hospital said. "There is no legal, ethical or moral requirement that it continue to do so or that the family consent in the decision to stop doing so."
After another round of testimony from doctors affirming their findings, Grillo agreed that Jahi met the medical standard for bring brain-dead, but left the order to keep her on a ventilator in place until Dec. 30 to give family members time to prepare an appeal, something local media reported was being planned.
Jahi's supporters have called the hospital callous in pushing to take Jahi off a ventilator.