Based on the commentary on previous posts here and on PCCMcentral.org debating this issue, I can say the following:
- Jahi McMath is legally dead on the basis of an incontrovertible and unequivocal diagnosis of brain death. I have no doubts in this regard.
- Jahi McMath has a beating heart and thus is not considered to be dead on the basis of the intuitions and opinions of her family and some others.
- To allow their families to "come to terms" with the end of the life of the index patients; and
- To support their organs, to wait to see what the kidneys would do, to give "treatments" to normalize metabolic and physiological parameters to see what would happen to the physiology of the organs (to determine their suitability for transplantation) and the organism "sans brain"
- Allowing the families to come to terms with the end of the life of the brain dead patient entails a certain amount of time and patience
- If we're going to harvest organs, the amount of time becomes a flexible thing, something that we're willing to compromise on as a courtesy for the privilege of harvesting the organs
- Regardless if whether we harvest organs or not, we will allow a certain amount of time for the family to adjust, but we get to decide if that amount of time is reasonable.
- If "real death" were to supervene before either of the above issues were resolved, and the heart were to stop beating, there would be no further arguments relating to the above two issues. The patient is unequivocally dead by all accounts.