‘Brain dead’ US girl faces deadline


Jahi McMath, ‘brain dead‘ US girl: Life support extended

Undated photo of Jahi McMath
It is unclear how Jahi McMath’s tonsillectomy to treat sleep apnoea went so awry

The family of a US teenager declared brain dead after a routine operation went wrong has won an extension to the court order keeping her alive.

The court order keeping her on life support in California had been due to expire on Monday evening.

Jahi McMath, 13, had a tonsillectomy this month to treat a sleep disorder but she began bleeding heavily after surgery and went into cardiac arrest.

Her family says there is still hope for recovery.

However, the Children’s Hospital & Research Center, which carried out the procedure, wants to turn off her ventilator.

On Monday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo ordered the hospital to maintain Jahi on a ventilator until 7 January.

Jahi’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, said she wept when she heard about the ruling.

She said the delay was an answer to a prayer and a sign that she was right to keep fighting.

“Who wants to know the date and the time their child would die?” she said. “I don’t care what anyone has to say about what I’m doing… I have to do what is right for me and for Jahi.”

Jahi’s family believes she is still alive but the hospital in Oakland, California, has argued in court papers that there is no medical treatment they can give to the teenager because she is “practically and legally” dead.

An independent paediatric neurologist from Stanford University supported that view.

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We believe a parent has the right to make decisions concerning the existence of their child”

Jahi McMath’s family statement

In an earlier ruling, a judge at Alameda County Superior Court agreed and issued an order allowing Children’s Hospital to remove Jahi from a breathing machine at 17:00 local time on Monday (01:00 GMT on Tuesday).

Hospital spokesman Sam Singer said they would comply with the judge’s new order.

The McMaths are hoping that a New York facility will care for their daughter. Two California care homes have already withdrawn offers to accept Jahi.

It is unclear how the girl’s operation on 9 December went so badly awry. She was having her tonsils removed to treat her apnoea, a condition that causes sleepers to experience irregular breathing.

Jahi was declared brain dead three days after surgery.

The family said in a statement at the weekend: “We have our strong religious convictions and set of beliefs and we believe that, in this country, a parent has the right to make decisions concerning the existence of their child: not a doctor… and definitely not a doctor who runs the facility that caused the brain death in the first place.”

Children’s Hospital says it is willing to work with the family to transfer Jahi to another facility, as long as it can legally do so.

Nailah Winkfield, mother of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, cries before a courtroom hearing regarding McMath in Oakland, California, 20 December 2013
Jahi’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, cries at a court hearing last week

“We need to be able to talk to the other facility to understand what it is they are capable of doing,” Cynthia Chiarappa, a hospital spokeswoman, said.

“This is not transferring an individual in a vegetative state, but a dead body.”

Jahi’s family has launched an online fundraising drive, which had collected more than $22,000 (£13,000) by Monday morning, to transfer their daughter to another facility.

The McMaths’ lawyer, Chris Dolan, said he was waiting to hear from a hospital in New York, where officials have been considering the case.

“The family is together, and today everybody is praying and being together,” Mr Dolan told the Associated Press news agency on Sunday.

Monsanto Pesticides To Blame For Birth Defects In Argentina.


Argentina has become one of the worlds largest soybean producers, with the majority of its crops being majorly composed of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Agrochemical spraying in the country has mushroomed over the last several years, in 1990 roughly 9 million gallons of argochemical spraying was needed, compared to today’s requirement of roughly 84 million gallons. Included in that was the use of over 200 million liters of herbicides containing poisons such as glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup. The country’s entire soybean crop, along with nearly all of its cotton and corn crops, have become genetically modified over the last decade. Along with the increase in GMO crops and pesticide use, the country has seen a disturbing and alarming growth in the prevalence of birth defects, cancer rates, and other negative health ailments. This has lead many of its citizens, including medical professionals, to assert the notion that pesticides, GMOs, and biotech giants are the ones to blame.

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Two year old Camila Veron [pictured above], was born with multiple organ problems and severely disabled, the doctors had told her family that the agrochemicals might have been to blame. And dozens of other similar cases have been witnessed in the area. It is firmly believed that the herbicide used on the genetically modified crops, may over an extended period of time after consumption, cause brain, intestinal, and heart defects in fetuses. In Ituzaingo, a district comprised of roughly 5,000 people [and surrounded by many soy fields] has seen over the past eight years, more than 300 documented cases of cancer associated with fumigations and pesticides have been experienced, they have reported cancer rates that are 41 times the national average.

Sergio H. Lence, "The Agricultural Sector in Argentina: Major Trends and Recent Developmebts," 2010Monsanto has [unsurprisingly] denied the claims that their GMOs have contributed in any way to the increased occurrence of experienced birth defects in the nation. Even though dozens of cases have been exposed which illustrate the misuse and illegality of pesticide application, pesticides are showing up in alarming rates in the soil and drinking water. Disturbingly, 80% of children surveyed in one area were found to have pesticides in their blood. Studies have demonstrated that low concentrations of pesticides [such as glyphosate] is understood to harm human cells and cause cancer.

Unfortunately for the Monsanto public relations department, the Associated Press has documented numerous cases within the country where poisons are being, and have been, applied in ways which are prohibited by existing law, or unanticipated by regulatory science. Medical professionals in the area have also been advising their clients that pesticide application within the country may be to blame. Not only is the rise of Roundup-saturated crops a potential health risk to residents of the area, but it’s a danger to the environment, and other animals that will eat these crops. In the ongoing battle against genetically modified foods and biotech [government-protected] corporate giants like Monsanto, it is crucial to remember that genetically engineered foods have never been proven safe for consumption over an extended period of time. One only hopes that corporations such as Monsanto, who destroy lives and communities, be held responsible for their carelessly negligible actions.

All children offered flu nasal spray


  • Flu is a respiratory illness linked to infection by the influenza virus.
  • Symptoms usually include headache, fever, cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints.
  • Influenza occurs most often in winter and usually peaks between December and March.
  • The virus was first identified in 1933.
  • There are two main types that cause infection: influenza A and influenza B
  • New strains of the virus are constantly emerging, which is why the flu vaccine should be given each year.

A flu vaccine nasal spray is being offered to every two and three-year-old in Scotland for the first time.

Previously, only children in “at risk” groups were offered the protection.

Scotland’s largest ever immunisation programme was launched by First Minister Alex Salmond, who received the vaccine in a surgery in Aberdeenshire.

He said that as an asthmatic, he gets the injection every year and urged other eligible Scots to get protected before the winter.

A fifth of the Scottish population will be offered a free flu vaccine, including people aged over 65 and those with conditions that put them at greater risk.

For the first time, all two and three-year-olds – about 120,000 children – will be offered the vaccine, as well as 100,000 primary school pupils in health board areas which are taking part in a pilot programme.

The programme will be rolled out to eventually see about one million children aged between two and 17 have the chance to be immunised towards the end of 2015.

The vaccine will take the form of a nasal spray rather than an injection.

Scotland’s senior medical officer said the spray, which is being phased in this autumn and rolled out over the next two years, was more effective in children than injections, as well as simpler to administer.

Speaking after receiving his own vaccine, Mr Salmond said it was better to be safe than sorry.

“As an asthmatic, I get my flu vaccination every year to make sure I’m protected and ready for the winter and I’m delighted to launch this national campaign,” he said.

“It is hugely successful and the existing programme has seen 2,000 fewer hospitalisations and 25,000 fewer GP consultations.

“For the first time this winter we are taking extra precautions to protect families by making sure children are also offered this vital vaccine.”

Senior medical officer Dr Nicola Steedman said every year she sees examples of how devastating flu can be.

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She added: “For those with existing health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart or liver problems, flu can result in serious complications.

“Furthermore, those who are pregnant or over 65 are also at increased risk of flu and its complications and should be vaccinated to help protect against flu, even if they currently feel healthy and fit.

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“Flu can also be very serious for children, particularly the youngest ones who have little or no immunity to the infection, which is why we are rolling out the new childhood flu immunisation programme.”

All two and three-year-olds in England and Wales will be also offered the vaccine this winter. In Wales, children aged 11 to 12 will also be eligible, while children aged between two and 10 in certain areas of England will be offered protection.

Source: BBC

Angelina Jolie’s aunt dies of breast cancer.


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Angelina Jolie‘s aunt has died of breast cancer, nearly two weeks after the Hollywood star said she had had a double mastectomy to avoid such a fate.

Debbie Martin passed away at the Palomar Medical Centre in Escondido on Sunday, aged 61, the hospital said.

Mrs Martin was the sister of Jolie’s mother Marcheline Bertrand, who died of ovarian cancer in 2007, aged 56.

Her husband, Ron Martin, said the sisters had both had the same mutated BRCA1 gene, which Jolie inherited.

“Angelina has been in touch throughout the week and her brother Jamie has been with us, giving his support day by day,” he told E! News.

“They both loved Debbie very much and although Angie is not able to come right now, she has sent her love and support, which was very nice.”

Mr Martin also praised the actress for electing to have a double mastectomy, telling the Associated Press: “Had we known, we certainly would have done exactly what Angelina did.”

On 14 May, the 37-year-old wrote in the New York Times that she had had the operation after doctors estimated she had an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer.

“I decided to be proactive and to minimise the risk as much I could,” she explained, adding that her chances of developing breast cancer had now dropped to less than 5%.

The BRCA1 gene is present in everyone but only mutates in one in 1,000 people. Anyone with the mutation has a 50-80% chance of developing breast cancer.

Source: BBC

6-Foot Bar Pulled From Brazilian Man’s Brain.


Brazilian doctors have successfully removed a 6-foot metal bar from a construction worker’s brain, the Associated Press reported.

Eduardo Leite, 24, was wearing a hard hat Wednesday when the bar plunged five stories, piercing the back of his skull through the hat and exiting between his eyes.

“They told me he was laying down (in the ambulance) with the bar pointing upward,” Leite’s wife, Lilian Regina da Silva Costa, told the AP. “He was holding it and his face was covered in blood. His look was as if nothing had happened. When he arrived he told the doctors he wasn’t feeling anything, no pain, nothing. It’s unbelievable.”

See other amazing x-rays and medical scans

Surgeons at Miguel Couto Hospital in Rio de Janeiro spent five hours removing the bar from Leite’s brain, the AP reported.

“He was taken to the operating room, his skull was opened, they examined the brain and the surgeon decided to pull the metal bar out from the front in the same direction it entered the brain,” Luiz Alexandre Essinger, the hospital’s chief of staff, told the AP. “Today, he continues well, with few complaints for a five-hour-long surgery. … He says he feels little pain.”

Ruy Monteiro, the hospital’s head of neurosurgery, said Leite narrowly escaped the loss of one eye and paralysis on the left side of his body, telling the Globo TV network the bar entered a “noneloquent” area of his brain.

Leite will likely remain hospitalized for at least two weeks, the AP reported.

Source: abc new.