When Are We Truly Dead? for NBC Left Field.

Taquisha McKitty was declared “dead by neurological criteria” in September 2017 following a drug overdose in Ontario, Canada. McKitty’s family went to court to prevent doctors from taking her off life support, claiming that because her body still moved and her heart was still beating, she was still alive. This move, in turn, has fed a larger debate—one involving, ethics, science, and religion—about what it means to be dead and who gets to decide.

***Note: Taquisha McKitty died on Dec. 31, 2018, after her heart stopped beating. Her parents will continue their legal appeal. They want the province of Ontario to accommodate religious beliefs around neurological death. And they want Taquisha McKitty’s original death certificate to be rescinded.

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