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Sunday, January 26, 2014

FFT 1/26: Personal Tragedies on display for public scrutiny, questions the morals and values of Our Society

Photo Credit -
IU News & Talk
Food for Thought 1/26 

"Two minors and an adult. Three different cases. The public has asserted opinions. The media has placed each of these personal tragedies into the forefront of analysis and debate. But, should the public know the names of Jahi, Marlise or a 17-year-old Detroit High School student at all?" 
The Case of Jahi McMath

Thirteen year old Jahi McMath entered Children Hospital of Oakland, California for surgery to
Photo Credit - Nailah Winkfield
Nailah Winkfield and Daughter Jahi McMath
before her surgery on Dec. 9th
treat an on-going medical condition on December 9. Not long afterward the procedure, Jahi's condition took a turn for the worse. While in intensive care unit, the girl began bleeding profusely, the family said.

According to family members, Jahi went into cardiac arrest. Seven-two hours after Jahi's botched surgical procedure, she was declared brain-dead.

Nailah Winkfield, the mother of Jahi McMath, fought to keep her child alive despite opinions of four medical experts declaring the teen brain-dead.

Administrators at Children's Hospital of Oakland rushed to California Probate and Circuit Courts seeking an order to deny Winkfield her rights to keep Jahi on life support and pull the child ventilator -- keeping the child heart beating.

The media onslaught against the Winkfield and McMath families was deep, swift and downright ugly. Via social media, onlookers attacked the family efforts to keep Jahi alive using vile, cruel words and opinions.

Attorney for the Winkfield and McMath families Christopher Nolan, on January 23 via a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed a statement regarding the treatment Jahi's relatives in social media.
"It has been amazing to see how many people think they have a right to an opinion about this child, this mother, this family and the issues in this case," Nolan wrote.
Self-righteous commenters and commentators who have no firsthand knowledge of the facts or the people involved pretend they can somehow know not only what's best for Jahi but what's best for society in such situations. They take it upon themselves to proclaim what will relieve or prolong the family's suffering, what will desecrate Jahi or honor her, and they feel justified in sharing it with the world in mean-spirited terms."
And Attorney Nolan was correct. The treatment Jahi McMath, Nailah Winkfield and the family has received by in our media has been downright disgusting. What Nolan failed to state in the Counselors' elegant Op-Ed, is that a majority of the negative opinions on how Jahi's medical case was handled by the Winkfield and McMath families was squarely focused on race.

From the unfounded accusations of keeping Jahi on life support solely based on litigation purposes, to completely misguided notions angrily seeking to pull the plug on a juvenile, completely against the child parents wishes. Somewhere lost in the case of Jahi was lost a simple right to choose life or death.

Possibly due to the way African-Americans are generally portrayed in our media as greedy, freeloading individuals seeking a handout; and yet frequency vilified when expressing disagreement with opinions expressed by Americas Majority populace . This happenstance leads to the vile, disgusting ways the Winkfield-McMath were treated in social media and on discussion boards far and wide.

Jahi was moved from Children's Hospital of Oakland to a undisclosed medical facility January 7. According to the Facebook page supporting the efforts to keep Jahi alive, the child is receiving the medical care Nailah Winkfield sought for her Daughter finally as evident by the video shared on site January 26.

"Jahi McMath's family are brave, loving, honorable hardworking people. They are not fools," Family Attorney Nolan said in a January 23 Op-Ed. "They know the odds. They want time, free from the threats of the hospital to pull the plug. They want Jahi to be somewhere where people care for her and do not call her "the body."
The Case of Marlise Munoz

Deep in the heart of Texas Marlise Munoz 33, has been taken off of life support after a fleece

Photo Credit - Huff Post
Erick Munoz as picture of late spouse Marlise
and himself in background
court battle waged by her Widow Erick Munoz.

Marlise suffered a pulmonary embolism after being found unconscious on their kitchen floor by Erick. Shortly thereafter, Marlise was declared brain dead.

According to the family statements, Marlise had requested she be disconnect the machines that keep her vital organs functioning, if otherwise her full recovery was not possible. Both Erick and Marlise Munoz worked as paramedics and had discussed such end-of-life decisions if such a situation was to occur.

Administrators at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth Hospital, supposedly acting on behalf of the state, refused to honor Erick Munoz wishes for his wife because Marlise was 14 weeks' pregnant. Texas statutory law compels hospitals to provide life support for terminally ill patients with a fetus developing in the Woman's body.

As a ironic and cruel twist of fate -- while the Munoz family fought for Marlise final wishes of a peaceful death to occur, the Winkfield-McMath family waged a battle to keep 13-year-old Jahi McMath alive. Both cases are clear and evident examples of the State or Individuals asserting their will over the next of kin wishes -- overstepping the bounds of common decency and the families right to decide the fate -- life or death -- of a loved one whose unable to do so.

In a statement released for the Munoz family by Attorneys Heather King and Jessica Janicek, confirm the family wishes that Marlise can now Rest in Peace:
"The Muñoz and Machado families will now proceed with the somber task of laying Marlise Muñoz’s body to rest, and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered. May Marlise Muñoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey."
Life support for Marlise Munoz was terminated at 11:29 AM CT on Sunday, according to local news station WFAA-Channel 8, and Marlise physically perished shortly thereafter. 

Before the legal order by Judge R.H. Wallace compelling the hospital to honor the family's wishes and take Marlise off life support, spouse Erick Munoz on January 23 was forced to describe what it was like to observe his wife by then order of a Texas Law.
Munoz wrote in a affidavit, Marlise eyes were "glassy and soulless" and the smell of her perfume replaced by what he knows to be the smell of death. He said he tried to hold her hand but can't," Erick's statement expressed. 
"Her limbs have become so stiff and rigid due to her deteriorating condition that now, when I move her hands, her bones crack, and her legs are nothing more than dead weight." 
There is something inherently wrong with our society when attention is adverted similar to a groupthink psychological theory into pushing for Jahi McMath to die despite her family wishes to keep for the child's life, while virtually ignoring Erick Munoz pleas for allowing his wife to pass on from this Earth.

As soon to be displayed by a scheduled protest Sunday afternoon out of John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, as WFAA reports will occur.

"A pro-life group planned to hold a vigil outside JPS Hospital on Sunday afternoon," wrote WFAA Channel 8 January 26.
And confirmed by Larry Thompson, an attorney on behalf of the State of Texas representing the hospital Friday. Thompson said the hospital was trying to protect the rights of the fetus as it believed Texas law instructed it to do.
"There is a life involved, and the life is the unborn child," Thompson said.
Despite whatever the family might say, one would assume. Thus is a peril statement on the way our society in America operates -- bordering complete absurdly.

The Case of 17 Year-Old Cass Tech High School Student

For the sake of our commentary, we have decided to keep the name of a 17-year-old Cass

Photo Credit- Detroit Public Schools
Cass Technical High School
Tech High School Student private as the student has not according to media reports, been charged with a crime.

The Wayne County Prosecutor Office according to a statement is reviewing the possible case and has yet to decide what if any charges could be filed.

"We have just received paperwork from the Detroit Public Schools Police on the case," an email from the prosecutor's office stated. "It would be premature to indicate what if any charges will issue until we have reviewed the paperwork and a formal decision has been made."
The Cass-Tech High School 17-year old African-American student was arrested January 23 after assaulting a security guard, officials confirmed
"Cass Technical High School student (name omitted) was arrested yesterday and changed with Assault and Battery based on an incident that took place inside the school at dismissal time. Detroit Public Schools Police Department is investigating and additionally the district's Student Code of Conduct process will determine the infraction and the appropriate disciplinary actions."
Instead of giving due time for school and law enforcement officials to investigate facts surrounding a possible assault and battery case, the social media sphere erupted in claims the Cass Tech student received special treatment following an altercation with the schools' security guard. A Video of the incident quickly surfaced on YouTube.

The security personnel injured initially visited a clinic for treatement the day of incident and then, "returned home" according to Detroit Public Schools spokesperson Steve Wasko.

Here's a question?

Why do we as members of the public know this juvenile name, face and other information?  The juvenile age of 17 does fit Michigan Law definition of adjudicated youth status but the overriding factor is the child has yet to be charged with an actual crime. Detainment in correctional facility does not automatically equal a person is charged with criminal act.

Only until and if Wayne County Prosecutor Office level possible violations of assault and battery or other charges against this student, the fact of his recruitment status with Michigan State University does not end his privacy rights as with others not yet charged with crime.

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