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Oakland Girl at Center of Debate Over Brain Death, Dies, Mother Says

In the years since Jahi McMath was declared brain dead, she sometimes showed signs of life: a twitch of her finger, the wiggling of a toe.

Those moments, and their Christian faith, invigorated Jahi’s family in their fight to keep the girl on life support.

“Jahi wasn’t brain dead or any kind of dead,” her mother, Nailah Winkfield, told the Associated Press. “She was a girl with a brain injury, and she deserved to be cared for like any other child who had a brain injury.”

Years after the legal standoff to keep her on a ventilator, the Oakland girl died late last week when an operation to treat an intestinal issue led to excessive bleeding and liver failure, Winkfield said. Jahi died in New Jersey, which accommodates families whose religious beliefs don’t recognize brain death.

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