This is a difficult case without knowing specific medical details it really isn’t possible to make a judgment.
If ( and a big if) as the family says she is making movements of any kind than this is a sign of brain activity. My initial feeling ( as someone who is medically trained) is to agree that she is most likely brain dead and support should be withdrawn. However reports by the family of movement is disturbing especially given reports that it wasn’t necessarily the complication of the surgery that caused her cardiac arrest but an extreme delay in recognizing that a complication ( bleeding) had occurred. This makes the hospital appear less than trustworthy in this case.
I too wonder about the standards for brain death and the qualifications of those making the determination. I remember a few months back a news story about a neurosurgeon who was declared brain dead who did come out of a coma and had quite a lot to say about it.
—she is making movements of any kind
—than this is a sign of brain activity
Not quite true
Spinal cord reflex movements are sometimes preserved
in “Brain Death”
“I remember a few months back a news story about a neurosurgeon who was declared brain dead who did come out of a coma and had quite a lot to say about it.”
There have been a number of similar cases.
This neurosurgeon, Dr. Ebel Alexander, went on to write a best selling book about his near-death experience.
The problem though is that he was never clinically declared brain dead. Parts of his brain shut down following a meningitis-induced coma. He was in a coma but his brain was still receiving oxygen. Jehi McMath's brain is not receiving oxygen and is by now most likely highly decomposed.
There have been several people in other countries who revived after being declared brain dead. It is argued that in these countries, where the laws governing organ donations are far more proactive, the criteria for establishing brain death is different from those in the United States.
Of course, doctors are human and make human mistakes and there are cases of people returning after being erroneously declared brain dead. They survived only because they weren't really brain dead in the first place.
It's reasonable to say that after three weeks of no brain activity whatsoever, this is not the case with Jahi McMath.
Movement does not mean purposeful movement. There are a multitude of reflexes that can cause movement with no brain involvement.