A federal magistrate is scheduled to mediate talks Friday between the family of 13-year-old Jahi McMath and the Oakland hospital where the brain-dead girl continues to be kept on a ventilator per a court order.
Each side is slated to present its case to the magistrate during the session. Children's Hospital Oakland argues that Jahi is legally dead and opposes performing medical procedures on a "deceased person." Jahi's family insists that she is still alive, and wants her transferred to a long-term care facility despite a consensus among neurologists that she is dead.
"We understand the suffering and grieving that is occurring right now, but their attorney and the family have been unable to produce a physician, transportation or a facility that would accept a deceased body on a ventilator," he told NBC Bay Area outside the hospital.
Jahi suffered heavy bleeding, cardiac arrest and "whole brain death" -- defined as an irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem -- on Dec. 12, three days after complex tonsillectomy surgery.
Two hospital physicians and three outside doctors requested by the family deemed her brain-dead, court records show, and the county coroner was notified of the death. But the family protested the hospital's intention to remove Jahi from a ventilator.