Clergy Criticizes Children’s Hospital’s Continued Insensitivity

Rev. Dr. Harold R. Mayberry and other clergy members  addressed the press about complaints alleging Children's Hospital insensitive to the family of Jahi McMath.

Rev. Dr. Harold R. Mayberry and other clergy members addressed the press about complaints alleging Children's Hospital insensitive to the family of Jahi McMath.

Oakland clergy are still demanding answers from Children’s Hospital Oakland in regards to the way they handled the case of Jahi McMath.

McMath was declared brain dead three days after complications from tonsil surgery. The family fought to keep the teenager on life support, and during the ordeal, the hospital was criticized for its insensitivity towards the family.

“…We watched the hospital spokesperson tell the public “there is no amount of hope, there is no amount of prayer, she is dead”; we watched as the hospital hired extra security for people who were hurting but demonstrated no violent behavior,” said Rev. Harold Mayberry of First AME Church in Oakland.

Mayberrysays clergy members began working in December to negotiate a meeting with hospital staff, clergy, and a member of Jahi McMath’s family.

Because the hospital is an important institution in the community, he said, the goal of the meeting “was to attempt to bring healing to what has been a very painful situation for the community.”

However, it wasn’t until the end of January, after clergy pointed out a breach in protocol by hospital staff that CEO Betram Lubin finally responded, according to Mayberry.

The response did not address their concerns, but instead indicated requirements for the meeting, which included additional hospital staff not directly associated with McMath’s case as well as other clergy members selected by the hospital.

The hospital also refused to include any member of the McMath family in the meeting.

“The hospital’s attempt to dilute our righteous concerns by hand-selecting additional clergy to attend the meeting, and their fear of candid discourse engenders a disconnect from the very community they seek to serve and diminishes Children’s Hospital’s testimony of being compassionate, caring and respectful,” said Mayberry.

Since being released from Children’s Hospital, McMath has been in an undisclosed location. The family released a video on YouTube showing that the young girl physically responded to ice being rubbed on her foot.

Councilwoman Desley Brooks has also expressed her discontent with the way Children’s Hospital publicly handled McMath’s case.

“The question isn’t why I believe it’s important for Children’s Hospital to have the meeting with the pastors who wrote to them, but rather why wouldn’t Children’s want to respond to the legitimate concerns of members of the very community they seek to serve,” said Brooks.


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  1. DeannaS

    How about demanding that the family let CHO tell their side of the story? Or how about demanding that the family show real proof that this poor child is “improving?” It disgusts me that CHO cannot defend themselves against all of this criticism. ALL sides of the story need to be heard before deciding just who is at fault here.

    • cecelia

      ITA, die to hippa laws the only side of the story we’re getting is the gofundme family who has a very vested interest in keeping Jahi on corpse support.
      and they don’t want the public to know THEY are the cause of the post op complications
      had her mother cared about Jahi’s health BEFORE surgery she may be alive today. Jahi was very apprehensive about it but nailah wanted to take the easy road of nonparenting

    • sookie

      I totally agree with you. You are right on the money. The donations have most likely dwindled with fewer people donating . I believe mom only gave the update for mney reasons.

  2. JonP

    Complete and utter self-serving trash. CHO went out of its way to accommodate this vocal and aggressive family above and beyond services provided to other families. The family filed a civil action in Alameda Superior Court December 30, 2013.

  3. Lex Lawton

    Extra staff=lawyers. The family has already been extremely vocal about their intents to sue. The “clergy” (presumably hand-selected by the family) want to set the terms of the meeting but refuse to allow the hospital the same courtesy. This is nothing more than a new ploy to try to stir up attention for the dwindling GoFundMe. If the family truly posted the video of the “foot”, I challenge them to post a new one, showing Jahi’s actual fact and something time-stamped to prove that it is actually 1) Recent, and 2) Jahi. Otherwise, I will continue to believe that this poor child’s body is still buried above-ground in a hospital bed and sad people are twisting a legitimate tragedy into a crass money grab.

  4. NaomiB

    All the points in this article has been hashed and rehashed in public news articles for weeks. Did not the author of this article do any research at all?

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