Jahi McMath Dies: Girl Was at Center of Debate on Brain Death

Nailah and Marvin Winkfield speak to the Mail Online outside of Children's Hospital in Oakland

Jahi "is a living, severely disabled young lady, who now fulfills neither the standard diagnostic guidelines for brain death nor California's statutory definition of death", Shewmon wrote in a court declaration a year ago.

Dr. Alan Shewmon, a retired UCLA neurologist and critic of brain death diagnoses, said previous year in court documents Jahi's body had not deteriorated as expected. "When I see that", she said, "I think, Who am I to not want to live?"

Jahi McMath, the Oakland teen whose brain-death case captivated the world while machines kept her breathing, was finally removed from those machines on June 22 in New Jersey after suffering from internal bleeding and kidney issues, her family and attorney said Thursday.

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The family ultimately moved McMath to New Jersey, the only USA state that accommodates religions that don't recognize brain death.

After a court battle with the hospital, Winkfield had her daughter flown to New Jersey, where she has remained on life support and received care in the state that accommodates religions that don't recognize brain death. After the procedure to remove her tonsils, adenoids and extra sinus tissue Jahi was alert and talking to doctors and even requested a Popsicle.

"Jahi wasn't brain dead or any kind of dead", Winkfield said.

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Winkfield said she is "devastated by the loss of her daughter who had showed tremendous strength and courage". Because many days I do want to die. The family raised money for a private jet and flew her to a Catholic hospital in New Jersey.

Winkfield said she is thankful for the last four years she had with her daughter and although her daughter could not talk to her, "my daughter knew I was there and that I loved her, I knew she was there and that she loved me too". "I can go to sleep knowing I did everything possible for my kid and no one can take that away from me".

The family lawyer said that he will continue his pro-bono work "through the federal civil rights case which was filed in the Northern District of California to have her hastily prepared death certificate reversed, and her date of death established as June 22, 2018".

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"My wish is that she will get some laws changed", Winkfield said about her daughter. "I really hope that people learn from this and learn not to pull the plug so fast". The hospital released the teenager to her family instead, who still would not accept the medical and legal ruling that she would not recover. As Jahi's story spread internationally, family members of patients in San Francisco, Contra Costa, Solano, Orange County and elsewhere also rejected brain death diagnosis given to their loved ones.

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