- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (AP) - As a California mother seeks to stop a hospital from ending life support for her brain dead toddler, a father is marking one year since he convinced a judge that his brain-dead daughter was still alive and should keep getting care.

Mohammad Meshkin was told last May that his 29-year-old daughter Anahita Meshkin was brain dead, the San Jose Mercury News reported Tuesday (https://bayareane.ws/27ApiYl).

The newspaper said she had been in a coma since 2007 after suffering a massive seizure while battling anorexia.

Mohammad Meshkin called attorney Chris Dolan, who filed a temporary restraining order to block the withholding of treatment.

“In my opinion, it is an example of a physician making a resource determination and using brain death as a way to legitimize their beliefs on the quality of life and how they see this as futile,” Dolan said.

A judge ordered further tests and court records show UC San Francisco School of Medicine neurologists Wade Smith and Andrew Josephson determined the woman did not meet the clinical criteria for brain death.

They noted that she moved her head and elbow when they pinched her hands. She remains in a care facility.

Many brain-death diagnoses are no longer taken as certainties. In another California case, a mother filed an emergency appeal to keep her toddler on life support after a lower court order expires on Friday.

Jonee Fonseca asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to override the previous ruling in which a judge refused to order Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Roseville to keep 2-year-old Israel Stinson on life support. However, the judge gave the family time to appeal.

Two hospitals have determined the child is brain dead, but Fonseca wants time to find another facility for him.

Mohammed Meshkin said he has no plans to alter his daughter’s care, despite medical professionals who question his decision. He’s alone in his decision-making: His wife overdosed and died in 2011 amid grief over their youngest daughter’s condition, he said.

“I’ll fight as long as she does,” Meshkin said. “If she quits, I will quit. But I have my hope that she’ll come back.”

John Muir Medical Center spokesman Ben Drew said because of medical privacy laws and out of respect for the family’s privacy, he could not comment on specifics of the case.

Dolan also represented the family of Jahi McMath, a teen girl who had a heart attack and was declared brain dead in 2013 after a tonsillectomy in Oakland.

Her family moved her to New Jersey, which requires medical treatment of patients like McMath who are declared dead and show minimal brain function.

Jahi’s family fought her brain-death diagnosis and won a court order to remove her from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.

___

Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, https://www.mercurynews.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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