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Is Jahi McMath Alive? Brain Dead Teenager Moves Feet In New Video

Is Jahi McMath alive? The brain dead teenager, whose family waged a bitter war with Children’s Hospital Oakland after the facility wanted to remove the tubes keeping her alive, is seen allegedly moving her feet in a new video. A video posted by the “Keep Jahi McMath on Life Support” Facebook page shows the girl’s feet and toes responding when they are rubbed with ice. The movement comes in the left foot and right big toe area, after which a woman declares “I don’t understand how a brain-dead person can do this.”
However, neurologist Dr. Neal E. Slatkin said spontaneous movements are common in brain-dead patients and that McMath is not alive. He believes the movements could simply be irritable nerves or muscle membranes reacting to the cold. “She’s brain dead. She has no thought,” said Slatkin. “She has no ability to control or interact with anything in her environment. She’s completely dependent on machines and forever will be.”

Children’s Hospital Oakland wanted her taken off the ventilator keeping her alive, but the family wanted the tubes inserted so she could be transferred to another hospital that would care for her. However, the hospital said they couldn’t “ethically” perform surgery on a dead body.

Earlier this month, the family won won a court battle to have feeding and breathing tubes inserted in their daughter. She was moved to a different facility three weeks ago.

“Who wants to know the date and the time their child would die?” said her mother, Nailah Winkfield. She also believes her daughter is not dead because she obtained statements from a pediatrician that said her daughter responded to her grandmother’s voice with squirming movements. However, a spokesman for the hospital said that any signs of life McMath shows is simply an involuntary muscle reflex and that organ failure is inevitable.

(Photo: Facebook)

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  • pennyroyal

    what this describes is a reflex and that takes place in the spinal cord not the brain…. so the whole reason for this video is bogus
    Are these prolifers so afraid of death that they can’t let a brain dead child die and be buried and grieved??

    • Carol Clinch

      Actually, it is her parents that don’t want the life support removed. Unlike, Texas, keeping a brain dead woman on life support, against husband and parents wishes because she was 14 weeks pregnant at the time she was declared brain dead….

  • Ana

    I can’t imagine how hard it is so hard to have to decide that your loved one is dead even though you can see the machine making them breathe. I understand it has to be hard, but you also have to know when to say enough is enough.

  • TaReon Williams

    no parent wants to lose a child, but…I think it’s time to let her go. I myself couldn’t stand to see my child plugged up day-in and day-out..that’s not living.


    Never having to live with this decision, I pray I never have too, I don’t know what I would do. Prayers go to this child and her family.