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July 19, 2005

Terri Schiavo's autopsy: the blind spot

Topics: Terri's Autopsy Report

I just finished reading Sherry & Steven Eros', June 29, 2005 review and critique of Terri Schiavo's autopsy report, the reporting on the report by the news media, the medical commentary by various talking heads in the media, and the medical conclusions offered by various medical opiners.

[...] The ME's Autopsy Report, and the reporting on it, provide an object lesson in media and medical misinformation and deliberate distortion, amounting to a "medical wilding" with Terri as its victim.

On virtually every issue of importance to her family and public policy, the ME's Autopsy Report lent itself to misinterpretation and Schiavo' misuse. If our analysis is correct, the statements to the press by the ME were tendentious, negligent, and irresponsible in the extreme, and their PVS inferences from the limited facts and objective findings of the autopsy were consistently unsupported and designed to deceive. The contrast between their reckless remarks at the news conference, and the somewhat more carefully stated facts presented in the print version of the Autopsy Report, further support the suspicion that they were pursuing an agenda in their presentation but wanted to hide behind more cautious formulations in the formal report.

Their distorted interpretations of the facts both in the print version and particularly in the news conference directly contributed to wildly misleading reports in the liberal mainstream media and the other pro-death propaganda mills.

While I can't speak to the extent of Sherry and Steven's medical expertise and experience relating to PVS and their qualifications for the review and critique of an autopsy report, having read the article I can speak to their thorough point by point approach and their ability to zero in on the critical areas of the report within which mistakes are most likely to have occured(the article identifies Sherry Eros, MD, as a neuropsychiatrist and Steven Eros as a philosopher).

As has already been presented in a previous post entitled "New Mission - New Direction," the emerging focus of BlogsForTerri is to fight against euthanasia, to educate the public about the false rationale behind a diagnosis of PVS, and to campaign against the killing of the elderly, the infirmed, and the disabled, by judicial fiat. Consistent with these objectives, it seems appropriate to get the issue of Terri's autopsy report on the table, and to do so in a manner consistent with the tone of BlogsForTerri's new mission and direction.

So without further discussion, the print version of Terri's autopsy report may be found here. Sherry and Steven Ero's review and critique of the report may be found here. My hope is that bloggers and readers will help to discern any mistakes that were made in the care and death of Terri Schiavo, in order that they can be discussed and communicated so that we can help prevent others from making the same mistakes again.

By taking such an approach, we hope to facilitate the use of the information gleaned from identifying and reviewing errors made in Terri's death, to motivate constructive changes in legislations, and together, all of us who value life, can serve as an effective voice for the oppressed, particularly, the elderly, the infirmed, and the disabled.

(Sherry and Steven Eros are self-described conservative columnists and maintain an online presence at their blog, Eros Colored Glasses.)

Posted by richard at July 19, 2005 5:15 PM

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