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Nailah Winkfield doesn't know what a new court-appointed independent doctor will say about her daughter, who was declared brain dead after tonsil surgery this month. But she has no doubt about one thing: her plan to keep fighting for her daughter to stay on life support. Photo by CNN.

Nailah Winkfield doesn't know what a new court-appointed independent doctor will say about her daughter, who was declared brain dead after tonsil surgery this month. But she has no doubt about one thing: her plan to keep fighting for her daughter to stay on life support. Photo by CNN.

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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?