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Jahi McMath, 13, had a tonsillectomy to correct a form of sleep apnea. After complications, "she is 100% brain damaged. Medically dead," her uncle says. Courtesy of Point & Click Photography.

Jahi McMath, 13, had a tonsillectomy to correct a form of sleep apnea. After complications, "she is 100% brain damaged. Medically dead," her uncle says. Courtesy of Point & Click Photography.

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Let parents decide if teen is dead

After 13-year-old Jahi McMath had a tonsillectomy, she suffered cardiac arrest and loss of blood flow to her brain. Her doctors pronounced her "brain dead." But what happened next tragically exposed the challenges and confusion in American medicine over defining death. Is it when the brain stops functioning, or when circulation stops?