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Lawyer: Video proves teen is not brain dead

Published Oct. 3, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — The attorney for the family of Jahi McMath showed a video to reporters Thursday of the 13-year-old brain dead girl that he says proves she moves in response to her mother's voice and therefore is alive. At his San Francisco office, attorney Christopher Dolan showed the video to a small group of reporters, saying it is evidence that the Oakland teenager is showing signs of life.

The video shows Jahi moving her feet and hands, apparently after her mother commands her to move specific body parts.

"It shows she can rapidly respond to a command … it's not a fluke," said Phillip DeFina, the chairman of the International Brain Research Foundation, which performed the tests along with neurologists.

Dolan also showed an MRI of Jahi that he said shows a portion of her brain is still active.

The new tests were performed by a team of neurologists and brain researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

This week, Dolan filed court papers asking an Oakland court to declare Jahi alive, which would reverse earlier rulings and tests performed by three doctors. In newly filed court documents, Dolan says new tests performed by the family's doctors show Jahi, who has been kept on machines since a surgery recovery mishap in December, has regained brain activity and is responding to sound and touch.

Despite Dolan's claims, medical experts say no one has ever come back to life after being declared brain dead. Medical experts have said it's possible for a brain dead person who is receiving nutrients to move sporadically but the movements do not mean the person is alive.