By Wesley J. Smith
According to a media report out of New Jersey, a third doctor–the others are Shewmon and Calixto–has signed a declaration stating Jahi McMath is not brain dead. The family attorney Chris Dolan says he will petition the California Secretary of State to rescind the death certificate. From the N.J.com story:
Dolan provided NJ Advance Media with signed declarations from four doctors, including Charles J. Prestigiacomo, director of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery at University Hospital in Newark and chair of the neurological surgery department at Rutgers, stating that McMath isn’t brain dead.
“The brain structure evidenced in the MRI is not consistent with an MRI of a patient that has been brain dead over nine months,” Prestigiacomo wrote in his declaration after reviewing tests on McMath conducted at University Hospital. He added that McMath has a “very significant brain injury but she doesn’t meet the criteria for brain dead.”
If the description of Prestigiacomo’s declaration is accurate–-I haven’t seen it–-that is more than enough to reopen the case.
Attorney Dolan says that if the Secretary doesn’t give relief, he will sue.
But why should that be necessary? Given the declarations by three reputable brain specialist doctors and others, at the very least the Secretary should conduct a thorough investigation, including a full medical reassessment.
Jahi is owed that.
The integrity of the system demands it.
And if the unprecedented has happened–that a declared brain dead person ceased being brain dead–finding out what happened and why is absolutely in the interests of science.
And for those screaming NO–I know you’re there, I can hear you fuming–what in the world would be harmed by taking another detailed look? Or are you so locked in to this poor girl being dead you don’t care if she really is?
I will see if I can get a copy of the declaration. If I do, I’ll detail it here.
HT: Thaddeus Mason Pope
Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.