You have questions, I have answers:
When Terri was taken to the hospital at the beginning, did anyone consider the possibility of foul play? Her husband Michael Schiavo’s is the only account of what happened before he called 911. A bone scan in 1991 found evidence of past trauma, and there’s more than one way for a woman to be deprived of oxygen Incidentally, Michael Schiavo is 6′ 6″ and 250 lbs.
Who knows if anyone considered foul play? Who cares? There is complete consensus by everyone involved in the medical community involved in this case that the reason Terry Schiavo is in this state is due to a severe potassium imbalance brought on my bulimia, which caused a heart attack, which then caused hypoxic brain damage. A bone scan could turn up other evidence of past trauma due to any number of things, including, say, hitting your head when you fell while having a heart attack.
Speculating about past trauma when there is no reason to is nothing more than attempting to villify Michael Schiavo, and you know it. Otherwise, you and others would quit mentioning Schiavo’s height and weight- which we all know has loads to do with the level of potassium in Terry Schiavo.
This is nothing more than a red herring, and a particularly vicious one.
I’ve read that Michael Schiavo wants to cremate her immediately after she dies. Why? Why not have an autopsy?
Because an autopsy is used to determine cause of death. If Terry Schiavo’s feeding tube is removed, and she dies of dehydration, I can tell you the cause of death without one incision. Quick- I bet you can figure out the cause of death, too! Pat yourself on the back if you said ‘dehydration.’
Again, this is a red herring, designed to imply that Michael is somehow to blame for condition, which, as we have discussed in great detail, was caused by a heart attack due to her bulimia.
Similarly, why not have an MRI? A group of neurologists has written that that such testing would be expected in the normal ourse of a diagnosis of “persistent vegetative state”
Because there is no point:
Most of the affidavits mention sophisticated new neuroimaging techniques which have been developed since the 1996 exams, and recommend that Schiavo receive a functional MRI (which tracks blood flow in the brain in response to specific stimuli) or a neuroSPECT exam (another functional imaging test). They note, correctly, that functional tests are capable of providing much more information about the nature and extent of brain damage than structural tests like a CAT scan. Yet Terri Schiavo’s cerebral cortex is not damaged, it is absent. The affidavits repeatedly fail to engage with this finding. Thus, we have Dr. Ankerman: “The long duration lack of speech seen after injury trauma is not always due to destruction of brain structure. Sometimes it is due to a state of brain dysfunction that is reversible.” Dr. Uszler: “Standard MRI or CAT scans are anatomy scans; they tell you if the tissue is there and its current structure, but these tests do not tell you whether the brain is working.” And, most incredibly, Dr. Terman: “If the results of her response to certain neurological tests, for example the fMRI, were similar to that of normal individuals with undamaged brains, such data might indicate that there is some potential for her rehabilitation.”
I suppose that these statements are technically true. Speechlessness is not always due to destruction of brain structure, but if massive destruction of brain structure is present, that’s certainly the way to bet. CAT scans tell you if tissue is present and structured normally, but not if it’s working; however, if tissue is absent, you’d think its lack of functionality could be assumed. And yes, if Terri had the same fMRI results as a healthy person, that would bode well for rehabilitation – but as we sometimes say here at Respectful of Otters, it’s equally true that if my aunt had testicles, she’d be my uncle. Terri Schiavo doesn’t have a cerebral cortex. She’s not going to have a normal fMRI pattern. She simply couldn’t. So it’s pointless to speculate about what it would mean if she did.
A group of neurosurgeons has signed a letter saying that a diagnosis of PVS is not warranted despite testimony from doctors at earlier trials. The reasons which could ultimately amount to pettifoggery – from what I’ve seen it seems likely that as the expression goes, the lights are on but no one’s home. But I would expect a court to impose a high burden of proof on those who are advocating an irreversible result like death, especially when her parents are willing to take her over. If the diagnoses were not per standards of the neurological profession, IMO the court failed in its fact-finding function and maybe some professionals need to be disciplined.
The nuerosurgeons in question have not examined Mrs. Schiavo:
None of the 17 affidavits are by providers who examined Schiavo. Only one of the 17 providers claims to have reviewed her medical records. The remaining 16 providers apparently based their statements primarily on six snippets of videotape, totalling 4 minutes and 20 seconds, which have been posted on Schiavo’s parents’ website and broadcast repeatedly on the news. Several of them explicitly say that they viewed these clips on the net, and the others all refer to the same short samples of behavior (e.g., Schiavo’s eyes tracking a balloon). Many of them say they read news stories about Schiavo. One admits to only seeing news stories and photographs. They all reference their experience with “similar patients,” but without qualifying what they mean by “similar.” For example, one doctor draws comparisons to catatonic patients – but catatonia simply refers to an absence of voluntary motion or interaction, and can be caused by any number of things. Another references stroke patients, and two more talk about patients with Alzheimer’s.
Near as I can tell, no one said anything about Terri Schiavo’s desire to die until after Michael Schiavo received a malpractice settlement, and those are Michael Schiavo and two of his relatives. Her own relatives say otherwise. Whatever MS’s rights as husband might be, how is it that the court determined who was telling the truth, if anyone? (sheesh, has everyone talked about this?).
The court document is here.
As her husband, absent the claim about her wishes, he could have decided to pull the plug on her anyway, right? The advantage of claiming that she wanted to die shortly after the settlement arrived would be that he would have cover to put her down sooner, laving more of her treatment money for him to use for his own purposes. It would look cynical if not suspicious if he decided to off her right away. In fact, I understand he’s spent about $300K of the $700K awarded for her care on lawyers and has withheld physical therapy on numerous occasions.
Other than the fact that this is just disgusting- accusing this man of wanting to kill his wife for a paltry sum of money after standing by her for a number of years, the simple fact of the matter is there is no money there:
1992, Terri was awarded nearly one million dollars by a malpractice jury and an out-of-court malpractice settlement which was designated for future medical expenses. Of these funds, less than $50,000 remains today.
This isn’t about money. This is about his wife’s wishes.
The court that found medical malpractice conclude that she was viable enough to be worthy of a $700K award for her care. But judging by how long Michael Schiavo has been trying to withhold life support and other care, she’s allegedly been beyond help for years. What has changed about her health since the original malpractice settlement? If there have been changes, can it be traced to Michael Schiavo’s supervision of her care? (incidentally, he got a $300K award for loss of consortium)
You are just making things up here. In no way would a finding of guilt in a malpractice case be contingent upon how viable the damaged party is for treatment. Have there been changes? Not really, but that is where medical gets in the way again- she is never going to grow back her cerebral cortex, and the idea of rehab is a canard. All that is really possible is to remain the way she is- and note, I have avoided using the word comfortable.
Terri Schiavo can not feel pain, understand pain, feel or experience pleasure, comfort, etc. She has no capacity to do so. Period. Here is a rundown of some of the possible ‘rehab’ she has cruelly been denied:
What about the “new treatments” which might help Schiavo? Many of the providers assert that she could be trained to swallow, and they’re probably correct. Swallowing is a brainstem reflex, and Schiavo still has her brainstem. The muscles of her throat could be stimulated – Mr. Lakas suggests using electric shock – to produce an automatic swallowing response to liquid nutrition. It’s hard to see how that would amount to an increase in quality of life, however, given the mechanical nature of the reflex and the likely increased risk of choking or aspiration pneumonia. What else? One of the doctors (Ankerman, again) recommends the off-label use of an Alzheimer’s drug, based on unpublished anecdotal evidence that it helps catatonic patients (not patients in a persistent vegetative state). Another recommends hyperbaric therapy, about which the trial court judge had previously pointed out, “It is interesting to note the absence of any [published] case studies since this therapy is not new and this condition has long been in the medical arena.”
The other two quesitons I can’t answer, other than to suggest that Michael is very bitter towards the Shindlers. Who can blame him?
Again, John, you aren’t listening. WE DO NOT KNOW TERRI’S WISHERS. We only know what Michael says she once told him. Awfully convenient, don’t you think, especially since Michael now has wver a million reasons to lie?
You might as well give it up and turn off the comments to your Schaivo posts, John. Innuendo and suspician are obviously more significant than facts in this case.
As one person who sits slightly on the other side of the aisle from you, I just wanted to say I think you’ve done a terribly rational and levelheaded job exposing the lunacies in this case. I think that’s what some find so offensive. Reason in the face of this emotional case is obviously terrible and worth derision. So I say: Keep it up.
For what it’s worth, this sort of thing is precisely why I could never under any circumstances be a part of the Republican Party. I’ve often noted that honest conservatives (not to mention libertarians!) are pretty much screwed in our system — the Republican Party is both corrupt and under the control of some really scary people right now. If you can’t bring yourself to vote (or organize) Democratic, I’d give serious thought to your local Libertarian Party. Something needs to give, or things will only continue to get worse.
Here’s my problem (not that you asked). What’s the harm in letting her live?
Her parents offer to pay for her care. How does it harm her husband for them to be allowed to do so? (If she’s so far gone that she won’t suffer in dying of malnutrition, please don’t respond that she’s suffering now and needs release from it.)
Yes, Wulfgar, that’s what I find offensive: how John has been so terribly rational and levelheaded on this issue. First, I’m not offended; I merely disagree with him. Second, I don’t think it’s all that rational and levelheaded to suggest that most of us who disagree are Randall Terry-style fanatics or incipient fascists bent on dictating families’ decisions to them.
You guys want the power of the state to tell a pair of parents they can’t keep their daughter alive, because her husband (perhaps, John, for the noblest motives; no comment there) doesn’t want them to. For some reason you get angry at those of us who think this is the wrong call.
I respect your point of view but I don’t quite buy it as a coolly rational defense of personal freedom.
I just don’t understand why everyone is rooting for the husband to pull the plug. This guy can go buy a boat and move to the Fiji Islands for all her parents care. He doesn’t have to worry about it. They’ve stated that.
Why does everyone want this person dead?
derek- Nobody wants this person dead. At least I don’t. What I also don’t want, though, is for some slick do-gooder buttinsky interfering with a legal guardian’s wishes. This is no-one’s business save Michael Schiavo’s and the Schindlers. Randall Terry and the rest of the Legion of Froot Loops should have kept there noses out of it.
Dr. Jack Shepard
MISSING ACCURATE INTELLIGENCE -MIDDLE EAST
By Dr. Jack Shepard
One Committed Atrocity against a child; is an example how hatred against America is created
By Dr. Jack Shepard
Dr. Jack Shepard says, America is blamed and hated throughout the Islamic World because of the Atrocities committed by the Israeli Military under the policies of Ariel Sharon toward the Palestinian Men, Women and especially things like the targeted cool blooded murdering of children like poor Aboel Samad Shamalakh, who was shown moments before he is killed in the morning by Israeli gunfire from a Israeli tank while he was working in his family field.
He may seem just another forgotten victim, but atrocities like this Israeli Military
Lot’s of people want her dead. They want to spout off their ‘vegetable’ rhetoric behind their computers so they can keep their hands clean.
“Well I don’t personally don’t want her dead, but Mr.Schiavo is allowed to pull the plug…”
I’m disguisted by this whole event and I can’t understand why anybody would want to side with Mr. ‘When is the bitch gonna die’ Schiavo.
What an insane concept — I have a living will, and I expect its dictates to be carried out. If my wife does so, that doesn’t mean that she “wants me dead,” it means she loves me and cares for my wishes.
The only insane thing going on is your keystroke struggle to have this woman starved. Quit hiding behind all the bullshit and say what you mean.
If it was in your power, would you have this woman starved to death, or would you let her parents take care of her?
Choose one. Life or death.
So what you’re saying is that living wills should not be carried out?
Terri Schiavo doesn’t have a living will. Stop tap dancing and answer my question.
My comment stands as printed; I expect my wishes to be carried out, and if my living will were to somehow be lost or destroyed, I would still expect my wishes to be carried out.
You should have been a politician. You still haven’t answered my question. You’ve consitently dodged the issue by bringing up a smokescreen counter argument of wills – something Terri doesn’t even have. I’m glad that YOUR WISHES would be carried out by YOUR wife, but I fail to see how that relates to my previous question.
For the sake of the argument, I’ll ask you the original question one more time.
If it was in your power, would you have this woman starved to death, or would you let her parents take care of her?
One more time.
Kill the useless eater, I say. Three half decades of cretinism is quite enough.
You’ve consitently dodged the issue by bringing up a smokescreen counter argument of wills – something Terri doesn’t even have.
I will answer your question after you answer this one — is the fact that Ms. Schiavo (how do you know her so well that you use her first name?) has no living will relevant to her wishes? That is, if she had a living will, and it were clear on the matter, would you support the removal of her feeding tube? If you answer me this question, I promise a five word or fewer answer to yours (as though my answer were not already abundantly clear).
Kimmit, you’re such an idiot. Really, you amaze me. No wonder no one here takes you seriously.
The whole case is revolving around the fact that Terri (Oh no I said her first name!) doesn’t have a living will. Do you even know the facts of this case or do you just troll these forums spewing bile? 5 minutes on google. Here. Here. Here.
Here. Here. Educate yourself.
Regarding your question (after you nicely dodged mine and propped up your own question that has no revelance to my previous post), I would have no reservations to ‘pull the plug’ if she clearly stated that she would rather die. But she didn’t. What is so complicated about this? I feel like I’m talking to a two year old.
I do wonder though, why all the avoidance around my first question? I mean, you’ve stated it before, why can’t you answer me?
Is it because you’re too much of a pussy to actually write down that you want this woman starved to death? I think it is. I’m thinking you don’t like the way it sounds. Probably makes you feel uncomfortable. Either way, you’ve proved my point. I just wanted to you see you write it down. In print. That’s all. At least the other people on this blog can actually state that. I don’t think you’re convicted.
Don’t bother anymore. You’ve answered the question. I’m quitting this thread.
But she didn’t.
So you’re saying that her husband is lying, and that, further, your knowledge of this fact makes you a superior guardian to Ms. Schiavo than her husband.
Gives a whole new meaning to “Take my wife, please.”
Anyways, you answered my question, so I’ll answer yours.
I’d remove the feeding tube.
Doing so pretty clearly constitutes executing Ms. Schiavo’s wishes before she lost the ability to have any wishes.
Good for you, John.
Can I see a show of hands of ecerybody who would like to exist in the same state Terri is. Not only did she not want to live in this state, now she is being paraded on TV for the whole world to see.
Everyone wants to be like Terri.
bill, I’ll answer that, for the sake of all the people I’ve heard ask that same rather pointless question. YES. If I were in the same state she is in then I would want to exist. I hope that’s ok with you.
That’s why we have living wills. Because some people might not choose to live or die based on other people’s preconceptions.
RE: the point concerning the award granted to Michael for malpractice and the suggestion that the results of this case ** proves ** that Terri had a potassium imbalance resulting in a heart attack causing the original injuries is a false assumption. Civil courts have a very weak (really non) standard of proof and Juries have repeatedly given judgments in favor of plaintiffs regardless of whether the claim is reasonable or not. Example – McDonalds losing a case where a women was injured for spilling coffee in her lap after going thru a drive thru. In reality if you are an individual that goes up against an insurance company or a large corp. you can win huge sums as long as you can get the pity of the jury. The point concerning bulimia was never proven this was a theory advanced by the paintifs lawyers to support their claim of malpractice and never supported by any medical evidence. There really is no documented evidence of the original cause of Terri’s injuries therefore it is fair to a least look at the possibility that the bone scans may reveal evidence of previous abuse.
SEE a report by DR. Hammesfahr (who has examined Terri personally) regarding the false claims of Bulemia. http://www.terrisfight.org/documents/Hammesfahrexam.htm.
how about a brain perfusion scan I asked this of CNN and no reply it shows actual areas of blood perfusion to what areas of cognicence and motor areas that are still being perfused