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Malkin: Jahi's life mattered

Conservative Review

Amid all the raging political headlines and hyperventilating tweets of the Summer of Resistance, a searing ember of news stopped me in my tracks this week.

Jahi McMath has passed away.

I never had a chance to meet the young California teen, but her fight for life gripped me three years ago and was never far from my mind or heart — especially as my own daughter, the same age as Jahi, battled her own health crisis.

Do you remember Jahi? Medical experts declared her "brain dead" after a routine tonsillectomy gone wrong. Children's Hospital Oakland pushed to have all life-sustaining medical treatment terminated; the professionals predicted quick deterioration. California declared Jahi legally "brain dead."

But Jahi's mother, professional nurse Latasha "Nailah" Winkfield, refused to accept their verdict. As a parent, caregiver and believer in Christ, Winkfield was compelled to protect her child. With the help of the pro-life Schiavo Foundation, Winkfield moved with her daughter to a long-term care facility in New Jersey.

Medical ethics scholar Wesley Smith visited Jahi with the Schiavo Foundation's Bobby Schindler 10 months ago and reported: "At the time of the tragedy, I believed ... that Jahi was, indeed, dead. But I now have strong doubts. It's nearly four years later, and Jahi's body still has not broken down ... She has experienced no visible bodily decline ... Disabled is not dead."

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