Exploring The Legalese Behind the Jahi McMath Case - FOX 35 News Orlando

Exploring The Legalese Behind the Jahi McMath Case

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PHILADELPHIA -

Here's a story that is stirring up conversations in homes around the country. An agreement has been reached between the hospital and the family of a young California girl declared brain dead. The hospital has released her to go to another facility for care.

This all started as 13-year-old Jahi McMath underwent an operation to remove her tonsils and alleviate her sleep apnea. Something went wrong during the process, and a few days after the surgery, she went into cardiac arrest and ended up brain-dead.

After about 4 weeks, the hospital wanted to take her off of life support, but the family fought back and won.

The family of Terri Schiavo has joined the families fight to keep Jahi alive. Schiavo suffered brain damage after a heart attack, and she died in 2005 when her husband had her feeding tube removed over the objections from her family.

Both these stories highlight the disagreement over what it means to be "brain-dead" and who has the right to make these crucial health decisions.

Terri Schiavo's brother, Booby Schindler, and FOX 29 Legal Analyst Ken Rothweiler were on Good Day to explain what legal arguments and talk about the controversies.

According to Rothweiler, hospitals do have the say in certain states. It depends on what the laws say. In the Jahi case, the coroner confirmed that she was dead, and six physicians declared that she was dead. Under California law, she was dead.

According to Bobby, they are standing with the family.

"I think the family deserves the opportunity to see if Jahi can get better," he said. "There have been cases where people have been declared brain-dead, like Jahi, and have recovered.

Watch the whole debate above to hear more.

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