Warning: This video contains content that may be very uncomfortable to watch.
Jahi McMath’s family has released a video of her that they say prove she’s still alive. Jahi McMath is the 13-year-old girl who died in December 2013 during a routine tonsil surgery. Jahi’s family, specifically her mother, Nailah Winkfield made the choice to keep Jahi on life support, even though she was declared brain-dead and a death certificate was released. Winkfield recently released a video that she says proves that her daughter is alive. In the above clip, Winkfield asks Jahi to move her leg and the girl’s foot twitches in reaction to her mother’s command. In another clip, Winkfield asks Jahi to move her arm and she grips the object she’s holding in her hand before letting it go.
‘I always knew cause I’m her mother, and I talk to Jahi, she responds so I said, “she can’t be brain-dead if she’s responding,”‘ her mother, Winkfield, said at a press conference on Friday where they showed the above video. While many can and will call his a hopeful moment, it’s a tough situation to be in. It’s obvious that Jahi’s family love her very much and refuse to let her go, but what is the price they are paying? No, I’m not talking about the hefty medical bills that are piling up from keeping her on the ventilator, but I’m wondering about Jahi’s value of life if she ever does wake up? Will she be in a vegetative state?
David Magnus, director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics and co-Chair of the Ethics Committee for the Stanford Health Center of Stanford University, says he hasn’t seen the video, but says that it’s common for brain-dead people to have random body movements. “There’s no evidence that patients who are brain-dead can ever recover,’ Magnus told ABC 7. ‘There is no recovery from death.”
According to reports, the family’s attorney, Christopher Dolan, says experts are wiling to testify that Jahi’s MRI shows sign of some brain activity. “There’s a difference between being brain-damaged and between being brain-dead,” Dolan said. Jahi’s family has fought against the state of California since Jahi was declared brain-dead. They moved her from the Oakland hospital she was in to an undisclosed location in New Jersey, where they were granted the permission to keep her on the ventilator. The McMath family will be presenting their case to declare Jahi alive in front of a California judge on October 9th. If they win, Jahi’s death certificate will be reversed and her family would be able to move her back to California where her care would be paid for by state taxpayers.