Family of Brain-Dead California Girl Jahi McMath Fights to Reverse Death - NBC Bay Area
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Family of Brain-Dead California Girl Jahi McMath Fights to Reverse Death

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    A Bay Area mother's two-year quest to have her brain-dead daughter declared legally alive is moving to federal court after attempts to secure an order from a state judge ended in failure. Jean Elle reports. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015)

    SAN FRANCISCO - More than three years after a coroner declared a teen girl dead, a Northern California judge is deciding whether to revoke her death certificate.

    In court documents filed last month, retired neurologist Dr. Alan Shewmon says videos recorded by Jahi McMath's family from 2014 to 2016 show McMath is still alive.

    Shewmon is a longtime critic of how brain death is defined and has filed similar court papers supporting efforts by McMath's family to undo the death certificate.

    Doctors declared Jahi brain dead in December 2013 after a routine tonsillectomy went awry. Her family moved her to New Jersey because of that state's different laws.

    A judge heard arguments July 13 and will issue a decision later.

    The case rekindles debate over parents' right to choose childrens' medical treatment.

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