Detractors for the culture of life have made up their minds already on the matter of pre-teen Jahi McMath. They want her dead it seems, at all costs. “Brain dead” as they call it.
On December 9, 2013, Jahi had life threatening bleeding after a tonsillectomy for sleep apnea at Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) in Oakland, California. She experienced a cardiac arrest, and from this event had severe brain damage. Shortly thereafter, on December 11, an exam by neurologists was consistent with “brain
death.” Jahi was put on a ventilator and CHMC sought to discontinue life support. With “brain death” the patient does not have spontaneous respiration and requires a ventilator to stay alive.
Some states allow a “conscience” exception to a “brain death” pronouncement of death, if the patient is of religions such as Orthodox Judaism, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, or Japanese Shintoism that only accept cardiac criteria as true death. It is odd that the Catholic Church, which has said so much and is in the midst of the attacks of the haters, remains so much on the sidelines. Even in the largest Catholic diocese in the country.
The dehumanizing language and failure to accommodate Jahi’s family led to involvement of the Terri Schiavo Foundation, who eventually helped the family find alternative medical care. Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother, eloquently describes the efforts to dehumanize brain injured persons, as in this case of his sister, where Terri’s Schiavo’s diagnosis of “persistent vegetative state” led some to regard her as less than human, as Jahi’s diagnosis of “brain death” allows her to be confused with a person who is actually deceased.
This is par for the course. The Nazis did this with their “life not worth living”. And the abortoholics of the 1960s on have treated our tiny preborn brothers and sisters with phrases that dehumanize them such as “clump of cells”, “a woman’s body” and so forth.
Her chances of survival drop further with the vulture of the Kenyan kommie’s death panels licking their chops for rationing her medical care.
Instead of these demeaning, dehumanizing descriptors, accurate medical and scientific terms should be used describing a patient’s actual medical condition. ICU physicians need to be aware that if they prematurely discontinue life support this could be considered homicide. If they do so to Jahi, it is homicide.