US & Canada

Jahi McMath: 'Brain dead' teen to get honorary diploma

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

A California teenager declared brain dead after a routine operation went wrong will receive an honorary diploma from her school, her family says.

The uncle of Jahi McMath, 13, told local media the school had decided to give her a diploma later this month.

It will be accepted by a relative at the school's graduation ceremony.

Jahi went into cardiac arrest after tonsil surgery last December, and the hospital in Oakland said they would no longer provide treatment.

Her family went to court to stop the hospital from taking her off life-support after she was declared brain-dead.

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland 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.

In January, she was transferred to an undisclosed facility.

Before the school announced the move, her family had to call the Reems Academy of Technology and Arts, which Jahi had attended since starting school.

"Jahi should be graduating from the eighth grade this month but it may not be possible for her to make it to the ceremony, as she is fighting to recover.

"She deserves to receive the graduation certificate as she has completed most of the eighth grade work."

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