Monday, January 13, 2014
Despite wanting different outcomes, the families of Jahi McMath and Marlise Munoz were both shocked to learn their loved one was brain dead and outraged that the hospital officials defied their wishes for treatment.
A person with a brain-death diagnosis is legally dead in all 50 states, and with the exception of New York and New Jersey, hospitals in all states are not required to consult the family when deciding how to terminate care. These two heart-wrenching cases are now raising questions on how brain death should be determined, and who exactly should have the right to decide treatment.
See Benedict Carey & Denise Grady, At Issue in 2 Wrenching Cases: What to Do After the Brain Dies, The New York Times, Jan. 9, 2014.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.