the eyes of terri schiavo

When senator/doctor Bill Frist “diagnosed” Terri Schiavo (by way of video) he said that it was his medical opinion that she was not in a persistent vegetative state. What’s more, he said that the movement of her eyes indicated that she was, in fact, responding to visual stimuli. Well, the autopsy records just released tell a different story. Her brain was found to have been “irreversibly” damaged, and “profoundly atrophied,” and “the vision centers of her brain were dead.” That’s right, just as her husband and doctors had suggested all along, she was both completely blind and in a persistent vegetative state, from which there was absolutely no chance of recovery. Given this, it would seem that Bill Frist is either a terrible doctor, or a scumbag opportunist who purposely exaggerated her chances for recovery in order to win the favor of the religious right, who had taken her “right to life” case on as an extension of the abortion debate. (I can’t recall who it was, but someone indicated at the time that she might be up and walking around in a few months if only the federal judiciary would swoop in to save her.)

The government had absolutely no right to get involved in this woman’s case, and Frist should be ashamed of having put her family, and the nation, through such a disgusting exercise. As a heart surgeon, with no experience in this area, he had absolutely no reason to get involved and contradict the findings of the specialists who had been intimately aware of her condition. And, to have done so by way of a short video clip is absolutely unconscionable. Someone should instigate a hearing of the Tennessee medical board immediately to look into the possibility of revoking his license…. Or, better yet, someone should begin drafting plans for how we could use his decrepit, old husk of a body to make political hay once he’s no longer in a position to defend himself.

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  1. chris
    Posted June 15, 2005 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Here! Here! You again, have skillfully put words to the emotions that I have evoked only in the manner of self-medicating and angry contorted gesticulations.

    And the parents are still saying that the autopsy results are not accurate in their findings. No wonder this woman was possibly slowly trying to kill herself (the bulimia), she was raised by wackos!

  2. Kristin
    Posted June 16, 2005 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I saw Frist on the Today Show this morning. When he was asked about his mistaken diagnosis he acted like the interviewer was smoking a crack pipe. He said “Diagnosis? I never made any diagnosis! All I said was that we should do the proper scans to see how she was doing!” He could not lie hard anough, and Hilary C. got to stand next to him smiling while he exposed his lunacy once again. Oh! He also said something along the line of “I guess I just wanted to be sure before we starved someone to death.” OK guy.

  3. Posted June 16, 2005 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Ugh. Disgusting exercises seem to be what our country is all about these days.

  4. Posted June 16, 2005 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe her parents are so deluded. Do they think her husband paid off the doctor who performed the autopsy?

  5. Anna
    Posted June 20, 2005 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Jesus Christ — you didn’t even need to do an autopsy to see that her brain was extremely damaged — it was clearly evident in the old CT scans that were done some years ago (they were posted all over the internet around the time of Schiavo’s death). Her occipital lobes were gone, her frontal lobes were almost totally gone, so was almost everything else. I’ve never seen such a profoundly atrophied brain in all my days in the brain sciences.

    Frist should be disciplined by the AMA for spreading such blatant bullshit and trying to pass it off as a legit medical opinion. Or for being grossly incompetent. You don’t have to be a radiologist or a neurologist to have seen what those scans had to say.

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