Jahi McMath’s mother wants brain-dead girl declared legally alive

A Northern California mother’s two-year quest to have her brain-dead daughter declared legally alive is moving her case to federal court after attempts to secure an order from a state judge ended in failure.

The Alameda County coroner in Oakland signed Jahi McMath’s death certificate in December 2013. The coroner concluded that the then-13-year-old died of post-procedure complications at Oakland’s Children’s Hospital following surgery to remove her tonsils.

Jahi’s family has been fighting since then to rescind the girl’s death certificate, arguing that she shows signs of life and some brain activity. The family says her body is being kept on a ventilator in New Jersey.

But an Alameda County judge upheld the death certificate after a respected Stanford University neurologist and two other medical experts concluded the girl was dead.

No court date has been scheduled for the federal case.