Jahi McMath "What does it mean to die?" - page 3

Interesting read.... What Does It Mean to Die? | The New Yorker Before having her tonsils removed, Jahi McMath, a thirteen-year-old African-American girl from Oakland, California, asked her... Read More

  1. by   VNurse30
    Ugly rumor and nothing more. Supposedly someone saw her being fed a hamburger in ICU. There's no official documentation of such a bizarre thing. Just rumors in internet forums. Some people have demonized the mother saying she's just looking for money and that she posted pictures on social media with designer purses. I would think professionals would be above such judgements. I guess the only thing that matters at this point is whether or not brain activity is there. From the latest scans it seems like there is.
  2. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from VNurse30
    Ugly rumor and nothing more. Supposedly someone saw her being fed a hamburger in ICU. There's no official documentation of such a bizarre thing. Just rumors in internet forums. Some people have demonized the mother saying she's just looking for money and that she posted pictures on social media with designer purses. I would think professionals would be above such judgements. I guess the only thing that matters at this point is whether or not brain activity is there. From the latest scans it seems like there is.
    How would we even know if there was official documentation? The hospital wouldn't be able to release it if it did exist.
  3. by   dbabz
    I have been thinking about this case and others like it for some time now and I have come to the conclusion that these issues are only going to become more complicated as time goes on, for a number of reasons:

    1. Technology is advancing rapidly, and without much regulation. The time is approaching when the body could be sustained almost indefinitely. At the same time, there are more and more discoveries about the spectrum of consciousness and minimally conscious states. View the story of Martin Pistorius here:

    Martin Pistorius: How my mind came back to life — and no one knew | TED Talk

    2. Resources are not increasing at the same rate as technological advances and knowledge. The monetary and human cost of keeping Jahi McMath alive is exorbitant. What else could the state of NJ do with $150,00 a week? With 168 nurse hours? Is it even ethical to ask the question when a human life is involved?

    3. Human emotion is not logical or rational; but must be considered when formulating any sort of policy regarding these matters.

    It is a very real possibility that in the not-too-distant future, nurses will quite literally be deciding who lives and who dies. How are we, as a profession, going to prepare for this?
  4. by   Julius Seizure
    oops
  5. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from Julius Seizure
    Also from the article...

    When Jahi arrived in New Jersey...the chief of pediatric critical care at St. Peter's wrote in her records that there was "no hope of brain recovery." Nailah said, "I didn't have a clue. I had really thought that I would get her a feeding tube and a tracheotomy, and she would just get up, and we would be good."
    You had no clue. Really?
  6. by   BrandonLPN
    Quote from VNurse30
    Ugly rumor and nothing more. Supposedly someone saw her being fed a hamburger in ICU. There's no official documentation of such a bizarre thing. Just rumors in internet forums. Some people have demonized the mother saying she's just looking for money and that she posted pictures on social media with designer purses. I would think professionals would be above such judgements. I guess the only thing that matters at this point is whether or not brain activity is there. From the latest scans it seems like there is.
    Everything I've read about this case supports the hospital's assertion that family feed the girl a hamburger. If it was a lie, I'm sure the family would be loudly denying it.
  7. by   BrandonLPN
    I do agree with the bio-ethicist in the article who was quoted saying that situations like this amount to desecration of a corpse.

    There is nothing in this article that changes my original opinion that this is a sad story about an undereducated family who cannot emotionally come to terms with the tragic death of their daughter.

    Trying to twist this into a story where nursing staff's inactivity and inattention contributed to the death is absurd. Every single description of Jahi's post-operative symptoms were told from the point of view of the girls medically uneducated family. Sorry, I'm inclined to believe the multiple registered nurses and physicians who assessed the girl in the days following her surgery.
    Last edit by BrandonLPN on Feb 14
  8. by   smartnurse1982
    Quote from VNurse30
    I think it's pretty disgusting how some people on here have latched on to silly nsubstantiated rumors like "They gave her hamburger" and resorted to taking trash about the family. It's a distraction from the issue at hand.

    I don't believe she will recover but this isn't a dead girl. The experts said that her organs, (including her brain) would have long ago liquefied.

    For those attacking the family, I wonder who would change positions with them for even 10 million dollars? Taking care of a severely disabled loved one 24/7 is no picnic.
    Whoa!

    I knew I was not going crazy when I wrote I take care of children in similar position as Jahi(I am in NJ,so I believe these families just kept it quiet).

    But the argument could be made is that even if she was not dead,money is not finite.

    I am pretty sure Jahi is getting OT,PT,and nursing of course 24/7.
    She also might be attending school,and no i am not kidding.

    What if these children are taking resources from children who do have chance of walking and talking,etc?

    As a home nurse,i do ponder these things almost daily.
  9. by   smartnurse1982
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    I do agree with the bio-ethicist in the article who was quoted saying that situations like this amount to desecration of a corpse.

    There is nothing in this article that changes my original opinion that this is a sad story about an undereducated family who cannot emotionally come to terms with the tragic death of their daughter.

    Trying to twist this into a story where nursing staff's inactivity and inattention contributed to the death is absurd. Every single description of Jahi's post-operative symptoms were told from the point of view of the girls medically uneducated family. Sorry, I'm inclined to believe the multiple registered nurses and physicians who assessed the girl in the days following her surgery.
    I doubt that.
    Grandma is an Lpn.
  10. by   Rose_Queen
    Quote from smartnurse1982
    I doubt that.
    Grandma is an Lpn.
    Doesn't mean Grandma knows how to be a nurse in a PICU with patients who have undergone major through surgery. Tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, uvulopalatoplasty was the full surgery if I recall correctly. I'm an RN in surgery, and even I wouldn't know what I'm doing with a patient in the post-op phase beyond PACU
  11. by   not.done.yet
    I don't find the reporting of this story to be "twisting" things, simply because the author makes it very clear that the perspective of the family is the story being told here and that there IS reason to question, reason to doubt. Yes, they lay a lot at the feet of the hospital staff. There is a lot of blame, anger and bitterness being tossed around. However, nobody can argue that minorities have been shown consistently to receive lower levels of care than the average population. To ignore that this suspiciousness, which is normal in the lives of minorities, would impact decisions made by a family at a time of crisis is to be willfully blind. As healthcare providers, we should be assessing what is impacting these families and the decisions they are making. Whether or not we agree with their viewpoint is not the point. What matters is that they have a viewpoint and the lens through which the information filters is impacting the life of a teenaged girl. To lay the sole responsibility for that at the feet of the family when they are in a situation where they are LEAST LIKELY to be able to think logically or react without excessive emotion is, frankly, wrong on a moral and medical level. Nobody makes good decisions when in a state of traumatic fear. The approach can make all the difference and the family is acknowledging that...and in doing so, admitting something very vulnerable...that they may have made a mistake. Why would someone greet that with anything other than compassion?

    Whether or not Jahi is actually dead isn't even the point to me in this article, as much as seeing where we can study this case, do better in similar cases, get closer to defining what death means and become more compassionate people. I don't give a rats booty what kind of purse Jahi's mother carries. I have been the mother having to make the choice to turn off my child's ventilator to allow natural death. Trust me. She is NOT getting rich off of Jahi's condition and she has a lifetime of hell in memories to carry around with her, many of which will include questioning her own decisions over and over and over again.
  12. by   KatieMI
    Every single long-term acute hospital in the country has a slew of just such patients. Many of them have death certificates written in other states and receive extensive, high-quality care out of taxpayers' money. Families do most ridiculous things such as transporting the bodies all over the country for football games.

    I always wonder - why some people are so desperate about getting the highest quality medical care if they so deeply distrust it and intend to ignore all recommendations except ones which they might like in the first place? You did not believe in surgery to begin with - why, then, you still went there? Why did they conducted an investigation-like talk with physician instead of making that obviously obese 13 years old to lose weight?

    Please do not give me all the talks about Tuskegee and etc. We are living now and here.
  13. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    Tuskegee wasn't that long ago. It happened in my parents' lifetimes, so it would have been within Jahi's mother and grandmother's lifetimes.

    Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can kill; it killed an NFL player who was not obese. How do you know they *didn't* try weight loss?

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