Schiavo Autopsy

Dr. Frist needs to go back to medical school.

From the Washington Post, March 19, 2005:

WASHINGTON - Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a renowned heart surgeon before becoming Senate majority leader, went to the floor late Thursday night for the second time in 12 hours to argue that Florida doctors had erred in saying Terri Schiavo is in a "persistent vegetative state."

I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office," he said in a lengthy speech in which he quoted medical texts and standards. "She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli."

His comments raised eyebrows in medical and political circles alike. It is not every day that a high-profile physician relies on family videotapes to challenge the diagnosis of doctors who examined a severely brain-damaged patient in person.

From the autopsy results, released today:

An autopsy on Terri Schiavo backed her husband's contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding that she had massive and irreversible brain damage and was blind, the medical examiner's office said Wednesday. It also found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused....

[Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Jon Thogmartin] also said she was blind, because the "vision centers of her brain were dead..."

Thogmartin said that Schiavo's brain was about half of its expected size when she died 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.

"The brain weighed 615 grams, roughly half of the expected weight of a human brain," he said. "This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons."

The involvement of Bill Frist, George Bush, Tom DeLay and others in this issue is nothing more than exploiting the personal tragedy of a family for political gain.

From the Post:
"I suspect that Senator Frist has his eye more on the Iowa caucus than the Hippocratic Oath," said Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow at the Democratic Leadership Council and former GOP Senate staffer. "This is clearly the politics of the Republican base."



Post a Comment

<< Home