(October 6, 2014 – Oakland, CA) Eight months after Children’s Hospital Oakland refused to care for 13-year old Jahi McMath, the girl is alive. According to her attorney and doctors, she exhibits multiple forms of physical and neurological activity. Early on, the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) provided legal documents to help Jahi’s family attorney keep her on life support even as the hospital pushed for a death certificate, and LLDF is now making that assistance available to others, via the Life Legal Guardians project.
Life Legal Guardians battles a disturbing trend known as “medicide,” in which the very instruments of medicine (hospitals, drugs, treatments, nutrition and hydration) are turned around and used as tools to hasten death rather than preserve life. The project reaches into community with education about the growing threats to life in the medical context, and resources to avoid or deal with them.
The past several decades have seen a proliferation of conflicts revolving around whether or not to provide life-sustaining care to certain individuals. Most notably among these cases is the unsuccessful legal battle to save the life of Terri Schiavo. Life Legal Defense Foundation has been involved in these controversies which are fueled by conflicting ideologies and cultural forces and the acceptance of the belief that hastening death is an acceptable form of “treatment.”
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]While Jahi McMath remains in a coma, medical experts confirm that she is living[/inlinetweet], exhibiting blood flow and electrical activity in her brain and physical movement in response to her mother’s voice.
“We are elated to hear the good news about Jahi and will continue to support her family and her attorney,” stated Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director Dana Cody. “In light of the latest evaluation of this young girl’s condition, we hope that Children’s Hospital Oakland will recognize that they jumped to an incorrect conclusion about Jahi’s condition when they refused to provide her with palliative care and said that she was dead.” Cody would like to see the hospital step forward and offer to do everything they can to see that Jahi fully recovers.
Life Legal Guardians, a project of Life Legal Defense Foundation, prepares individuals and families for the issues that arise out of end-of-life disputes by ensuring they have the tools and resources in place to protect their legal rights. The legal group also equips attorneys with training that provides both philosophical backing for a pro-life approach to medical decision making as well as practical resources on how to litigate these cases.
Life Legal Guardians addresses “medicide” here.
Life Legal Defense Foundation offers information about your legal rights regarding end-of-life care here.