‘She’s very much a living person’

Doctor champions 13-yr-old ‘brain dead’ Calif. girl on ventilator


Jahi McMath

The following comes from a Dec. 20 story on LifeSiteNews.com.

A pioneer doctor in neonatology is championing the life of a 13-year-old girl from California who was officially declared “brain dead” by doctors after a routine tonsillectomy last week went horribly wrong.

“The first thing about ‘brain death’ is that brain death is not true death. It never was and never will be,” said Dr. Paul Byrne, a pioneer neonatologist and clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Toledo to LifeSiteNews.com.

“This girl is still very much a living person. Her life ought to be protected and preserved. No one should be hastening her death or shortening her life,” he said.

Tonsillectomy is a common surgery. Jahi McMath’s December 9 surgery was recommended by doctors to allegedly address the her sleep apnea. While the surgery at first appeared to be successful, the girl began coughing up blood before suffering cardiac arrest. Doctors declared her brain-dead December 12.

The McMath family is seeking a court injunction today through their lawyer that would prevent doctors at the Children’s Hospital in Oakland from taking their daughter Jahi off life-support, despite doctors allegedly telling the family that she is “dead, dead, dead, dead.”

But Jahi’s mother Nailah believes that her daughter is not truly dead.

“I feel her. I can feel my daughter. I just kind of feel like maybe she’s trapped inside her own body. She wants to scream out and tell me something,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle….

Byrne explained that someone does not “become dead” because a doctor declares someone ‘brain dead’, “although they intend it that way”, he added.

He explained that the brain dead criteria was “invented” in 1968 by an ad hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School openly seeking a way to harvest organs for transplanting. Since a dead organ taken from a corpse cannot be successfully transplanted into a living body, the committee settled on a definition of death that would allow the harvest of healthy living organs from a still living body that lacked signs of brain activity.

“Brain death was invented, conjured, made-up to get organ transplants,” he said.

Declaring someone ‘brain dead’ to harvest organs is always to the detriment of the patient, Byrne explained. “No one can recover once they’ve had their beating heart and other organs cut out.”

“If doctors can, they will take this young girl’s organs….”

To read the entire story, click here.



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  1. Abeca Christian says:

    Jesus please be with this family. No one in the world, unless they have gone through this, will understand the troubles they are facing. This is a very sad story on how they have no respect for human life. My heart goes out to this family and I am grateful that this doctor is speaking up for them too.

    • This Hospital is not evil. They saved my sons life when the first hospital he was in couldn’t even figure out what was wrong with him.

      • I do agree with the parents. I copied part of an article that discusses some of what is going on. I can’t fathom what the parents are going through.
        But various researchers decided that this test was unnecessary, so it was eliminated from the mandatory criteria in 1971. They reasoned that, if the brain stem is dead, the higher centers of the brain are also probably dead.

        But in at least two studies before the 1981 Uniform Determination of Death Act, some “brain-dead” patients were found to be emitting brain waves. One, from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in the 1970s, found that out of 503 patients who met the usual criteria of brain death, 17 showed activity in an EEG.

        Even some of the sharpest critics of the brain-death criteria argue that there is no possibility that donors will be in pain during the harvesting of their organs. One, Robert Truog, professor of medical ethics, anesthesia and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, compared the topic of pain in an organ donor to an argument over “whether it is OK to kick a rock.”

        But BHCs—who don’t receive anesthetics during an organ harvest operation—react to the scalpel like inadequately anesthetized live patients, exhibiting high blood pressure and sometimes soaring heart rates. Doctors say these are simply reflexes.

        What if there is sound evidence that you are alive after being declared brain dead? In a 1999 article in the peer-reviewed journal Anesthesiology, Gail A. Van Norman, a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Washington, reported a case in which a 30-year-old patient with severe head trauma began breathing spontaneously after being declared brain dead….

      • Sam K, I can be almost certain that your son’s condition had nothing to due with serious brain injury. In our secular utilitarian medical system, those with serious brain injury are now quickly dismissed and dispatched. Jahi, no doubt, experienced the care and concern of the “professionals” at Children’s Hospital, that was until she became seriously “brain injured”. After this, those same “professionals” considered Jahi’s life to have no more value than the value of a corpse. This attitude is not unique among health care “professionals” throughout our country. Sadly, they held Jahi hostage for three weeks all the while withholding nutrition from her.

  2. Thank you CCD for posting this story. The public needs to be informed about this issue. The link to the original story has more stories linked to it about people who were slated to have their organs harvested, but woke up in time.

    Dr. Paul Byrne has been speaking out about the bogus “brain death” diagnosis for decades now. There are numerous other neurologist who have also been speaking out. Sadly, it is not just the pro-death crowd who are silencing their message, but those in the pro-life community as well. By posting joyous stories about people getting a new lease on life because of an organ donation by a so-called dead donor sends the message that it is an o.k. practice.

    How many individuals to date have had there organs cut out of them while they were alive, all without anesthesia. Those who have been fortunate to have survived the “brain death” diagnosis have told stories of hearing the doctors say that they were “dead”, but they could not respond.

    Yes, it can be exciting to know that a loved one is now up and active because they received an organ from a so-called “dead donor”, but we need to remember that it is never ethical to take the life of one sick individual in order extend the life of another sick individual.

    • Tracy,

      Thank you for your excellent post. Dr. Paul Byrne has been such a wonderful champion of the right to life. I telephoned Dr. Byrnes about a friend who was facing hospital doctors that wanted to turn off life support for a relative. Dr. Byrnes, personally took the time to call back and give such excellent instruction and helpful advice for the family members. This good doctor reminds us of how the majority of doctors used to be, protecting all life. May God continue to bless Dr. Paul Byrne for shining God’s reflective light and love!

  3. I read one story about this girl which said that the girls Grandmother is a nurse and that when the bottom of the girls foot is rubbed, she curls her toes. I am praying with the family for her recovery.

  4. Yes, let us pray for this family and their child, and that everyone do the right thing here.

  5. Let’s all pray for her and her family!

  6. Her parents need to transfer her to a Catholic hospital—-or at least a hospital where there is a doctor who will care for her and protect her life.

    • Phil, for the record, I am not aware of a single Catholic hospital which does not participate in Organ Procurement activities. In addition, there are Catholic hospitals who are centers for Organ Transplants.

    • Any reputable Catholic hospital would do the same thing. This is medically standard of care.

  7. Dear Nailah,

    Please know that you are not alone at this very difficult time. We are keeping your precious daughter Nahi and you and your family in our prayers.

  8. This has to be a terrible situation for the parents. What parent wants to see their child die or be dead. Unless we walk in their shoes, we are not really the best people to comment. We should pray for the parents and for the young girl. At the same time, we should not be taken in by voodoo science. Most adults have signed health directives that state how they want to be treated in similar situations. Most state that they don’t want to be put on artificial life support. Is it possible that those who are trying to comfort the parents are in fact hurting the young girl and the parents?

    • Bob One, numerous neurologist are on record saying that there is NO SUCH THING AS BRAIN DEATH! In addition it is an historical fact as to where the term was made up and why!!!!!

      You cannot cite a single individual in this country, who has been declared brain dead, taken off a ventilator and subsequently died (with or without their organs first having been harvested), who has a death certificate which post the date and time of death as being the time when the doctors declared them “brain dead” Why, because a person has not expired until they have truly expired! The time of death recorded on the death certificate is ALWAYS the same time the organs were harvested, or when the person’s heart stopped beating, whichever came first!

      The only Voodoo Science currently being practiced in this country, is by our modern day WITCHDOCTORS IN SCRUBS, who make their living by harvesting organs out of living, breathing people with brain injuries for the sole purpose of giving them to one of their eager sick customers who has waited patiently and expectantly for a sought after organ(s). Insurance companies are both parties brokers.

  9. We must pray for all involved. What’s happened to this young girl is a tragedy. We may have another Shiavo case here; remember the Florida woman who was brain dead for years yet kept alive by well meaning family and friends who ultimately lost the battle to keep other family members from pulling the plug. An autopsy showed Shiavo’s brain had shrunk to half its normal size due to all those years of laying in a hospital brain dead.

    • good cause, were you dead or alive before your brain was formed? Was Jesus dead or alive on the day of His conception in Mary’s womb?

      Those doctors who participate in In-vitro fertilization only choose LIVING embryos to implant into women’s uteruses knowing full well that these tiny, living human beings haven’t yet even formed a brain or heart!

      Please realize that what you are suggesting is that those living among us with brain injuries are sub-human beings, not deserving the love and protection of their families and communities, nor the protection of the law with regards to their lives. I’ll bet you
      insist on far better for mass murderers.

  10. Fredi D'Alessio says:

    Dear “Good Cause”,

    I am greatly offended by your description of our beloved sister in Christ Terri Schindler Schiavo’s medical condition. You evidently don’t know what you are talking about. I represented you, myself and every other caring person by standing vigil outside her death camp (see http://fjdalessio.wordpress.com/2005/04/05/calvary-in-pinellas-park).

    I suggest you inform yourself about Serious Health Care and End of Life Decisions by reading the documents listed at http://fjdalessio.wordpress.com/serious-health-care-and-end-of-life-decisions-2

    More specifically (regaring Terri), visit http://www.terrisfight.org.

    Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, Fredi D’Alessio

    • Fredi D'Alessio says:

      I should have said: “Terri Schindler Schiavo’s medical condition prior to her having been murdered by her husband and his allies.”

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

        The late Fr. Aloysius Elacuria, CMF whose case is now being studied, once told me that until the person is cold, there is still life, and the Sacraments can and should be administered. If my memory is correct, Fr. Thomas Matin, CMF also told me the same thing. You see they thought he was dead, but he could hear them talking about poor Thomas, he wanted so much to be a priest. Well he lived much longer than they did.

        Young Lawrence Sanphonophong Khai was thought to be dead, they even had him already wrapped in traditional Thai burial
        wrappings, he lived to be Archbishop Lawrence T. Khai, my Spiritual Father, Archbishop of Thare Non-Seng, Thailand!

        May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
        Viva Cristo Rey!
        God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher

        • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

          By the way, Archbishop Khai could be classified as a Martyr, you see they tried to kill him several times, and he did not compromise, but God had greater plans for him.

          I would be happy to present his story to any group, you can contact me at: 714-491-2284 or crcoa@att.net.

          He loved and loves the LEGION OF MARY!

          May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
          Viva Cristo Rey!
          God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
          Kenneth M. Fisher

          • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

            In the picture, Nahi seems to be smiling, how can an allegedly brain dead person smile?

            May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
            Viva Cristo Rey!
            God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
            Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
            Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.

          • Anonymous says:

            Her name is Jahi and the picture does not show her on a breathing apparatus so it is not a picture of her at the current time. Praying for her to be restored to her mother.

  11. My understanding of Catholic doctrine is that extraordinary means (i.e. life support) are NOT required and it would be morally acceptable to have a person removed if the family decides. A feeding tube is not considered extraordinary. That being said, it SHOULD BE UP TO THE FAMILY NOT A HOSPITAL, DOCOTR, JUDGE, OR ANYBODY ELSE. THAT HOSPITAL IS DOING NOTHING EXCEPT FOR COVING THEIR OWN BUTTOCK FOR MALPRACTICE. I pray for this family. I just can’t imagine…


  13. Fredi D'Alessio says:

    Learn the truth from Bishop Bruskewitz: See ‘Brain Dead – Really?’ at http://fjdalessio.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/brain-dead-really

    • Fredi D’ Alessio, thank you for posting this. I watched the first video. What a breath of fresh air; a prelate who is well informed, as well as, using his critical thinking skills! I watched another video someone else posted of a priest interviewed on Fox News in which he gave nearly blind allegiance to the “professionals”. We are sadly becoming a nation of “drones”!

    • Ann Malley says:

      Wow. Just watched the video link, Fredi. Thanks for posting as oftentimes we get caught up in the supposed ‘scientific/academic’ argument of the day without paying any heed to the how and why behind the funding of such research/discoveries.

  14. My heart goes out to this family, but, as Christians, what is so bad about dying?
    The martyrs of old looked forward to meeting the Lord.
    I have always looked forward to heaven — and hope my resolve won’t change when the time comes.
    Nowadays, we use bizarre mechanical methods to keep a heart beating for years and years, whereas in the old days, this person would have been allowed to die and go home to God — not hooked up to machines for decades.
    As believers, we praise heaven on the one hand and declare it to be our “true home” — yet on the other hand some of us do everything in our power to avoid our “true home” as if it were THE END.
    Just don’t get it…

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Michael, even my atheistic sister used to quote one of the early martyrs who, on the pyre, exclaimed, I’m done on this side, turn me over. You are right. Death is not something to fear if we have perfect faith. My partners’ father reinforced that with me as he died slowly over several years, with his incredibly strong faith.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        By the way, I had the honor of being with him the night before, administering communion to him, praying with him, the night before he passed to heaven. So far as I know, it was his last meal.

  15. I listened to an interview with Dr. Philip A. Defina of the International Brain Research Foundation on Saturday night. http://www.ibrfinc.org/staff.htm I learned even more than I already knew about the false “brain death” diagnosis (which I won’t go into here). IBRF has already been successful in awakening 43 of 52 coma patients with it’s cutting edge treatment protocols. These are patients whom the other so-called experts deemed hopeless. Dr. Defina stated very clearly that insurance companies and hospitals have a financial stake in declaring “brain death” within a couple of days of a person being placed on a ventilator. He said that the tests currently being performed on brain injured patients are archaic and not reliable. It sounds as if Jahi, will finally be receiving the medical treatment protocols of the IBRF. It is so sad that she has been denied nutrition for the past 3 weeks. Let’s continue to pray for Jahi, her brave family and all of those who are dealing or will deal with brain injury.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Tracy, she wasn’t in a coma. She is brain dead. There is a huge difference. Coma patients do sometimes awake. Brain dead patients have never come back. Both are sad tradgedies, and deserve our heartfelt compassion, but we have to understand the catholic doctrine of prolonging life via extraordinary means, and keeping brain dead patients alive via these means is clearly extraordinary. I’ve been involved in these decisions within the last 24 months with 3 relatives. None of them are easy. But we must be clear that there is a limit to what science can do and what our faith requires.

  16. Fredi D'Alessio says:

    I strongly recommend this article (I had hoped CCD would post it): The Truth About “Brain Death” at http://fjdalessio.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/the-truth-about-brain-death.

    Shame on our clergy by the way, Tracey (and thank you).

  17. Fredi D’Alessio, Thank you and God bless you for being a faithful Catholic witness in standing watch on behalf of Terri Schiavo. I also know how meaningful that gesture of love, support and kindness must have meant to Terri’s family. Their beloved daughter and sister was murdered by an adulterous spouse with the aid of the court system. You are right, many of our clergy remained completely silent when Terry Schiavo was being cruelly murdered by the painful means of prolonged starvation. God bless Bishop Robert W. Finn for speaking up on behalf of Jahi McMath. God bless Dr. Paul Byrne

    Jahi McMath: Sometimes Things Are Not As They Seem
    Posted by The Catholic Key on 4:39 pm in Bishop’s Column,


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