Jahi McMath, the teenager who was at the center of a medical and religious debate over brain death, has died, according to her family's lawyer. She was 17.
McMath died June 22 at a hospital in New Jersey, the family's lawyer, Christopher Dolan, said in a statement. He said a hospital doctor listed the preliminary cause of death as bleeding due to liver failure.
Nailah Winkfield, McMath's mother, said in the statement that she is "devastated by the loss of her daughter" but that Jahi ultimately "has forced the world to rethink the issue of brain death."
McMath had been on a ventilator since 2013. In December of that year, she had a tonsillectomy at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland in California, which resulted in complications. Doctors there said McMath had irreversible brain damage, and a coroner issued a death certificate.
But Winkfield refused to agree with that assessment and took the battle to court to keep McMath on life support. She cited her Christian beliefs and that her daughter still sometimes moved her toes and fingers. Winkfield believed that her daughter was not dead.