Danville family files suit against Oakland hospital


Last year, Wade and Jennifer Westhoff's 21-month old daughter, Morgan, was declared brain-dead after complications from heart surgery at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital - Oakland. They were told Morgan would be taken off life support in 48 hours.

"I wanted more time for my daughter to heal. I didn't know if it was the right decision," said Jennifer.

The Westhoffs removed Morgan from life support, but they say the most pain came from the way they were treated.

"No one would give us answers, we'd request charts. They were delayed. There wasn't a complete set of charts," said Jennifer.

"There's a moment there where the hospital, instead of advocating for you, becomes almost adversarial with you," said Wade Westhoff, Morgan's father.

Wade says he worried others would suffer the same way and then he saw the family of Jahi McMath on the news. She was also declared brain-dead after complications from surgery and the family had the same complaints.

"Lack of communication, lack of transparency, lack of dignified treatment," said Wade.

After Morgan's death, Wade says the hospital continued soliciting them for donations. Children's Hospital would not comment on the family's malpractice suit, but in a statement chief medical officer David Durand said, "We have hundreds of thousands of communications with families every year, and while we strive for these to always be appropriate, there are occasions when we fall short."

The Westhoffs say their lawsuit is fueled by the pattern of insensitivity embedded in the hospital's culture.

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