Three weeks after Jahi McMath was taken out of Children's Hospital Oakland, a video claiming to show the girl's feet and toes responding to sensation has turned up on the Internet.
The video, posted on the "Keep Jahi McMath on life support" Facebook page on Sunday, showed a person's hand rubbing ice gently across the feet of a girl said to be Jahi, the Oakland teen who developed complications after tonsil, nose and throat surgery for sleep apnea and was declared brain-dead.
On Monday morning, the video had been removed from Facebook without explanation, and the link disabled. However, the video still appeared on YouTube.
A female voice also could be heard on the video. In it, the voice points out the movement in the left foot and right big toe when they come into contact with ice.
"I don't understand how a brain-dead person can do this," the woman says.
However, Dr. Neal E. Slatkin, a neurologist and chief medical officer at San Jose's Hospice of the Valley, said spontaneous movements aren't rare in brain-dead patients and can be seen in 50 percent or more of such patients.
The movement, according to Slatkin, could be spinally mediated reflexes or due to irritable nerves or muscle membranes reacting to the application of cold.
The movements are not an indication that she is alive, he said.
"She's brain-dead. She has no thought. She has no ability to control or interact with anything in her environment," Slatkin said. "She's completely dependent on machines and forever will be."
Jahi's whereabouts since being taken by ambulance from Children's Hospital Oakland on Jan. 5 have not been revealed.