Friday, June 17, 2005

TERRI SCHIAVO AGAIN. Although I said I could not bear to blog anymore on the Terri Schiavo tragedy, the release of her autopsy prompts me to comment further. Some people point out that the damage to her brain was irreversible, and are trumpeting that as justification for killing her by starving her to death.

They are missing the point.

We are all doing to die. That doesn't mean our "loved ones" can decide when or how. If so, I might have been history long ago.

Please note that the autopsy also says the frontal temporal and temporal poles and insular cortex demonstrated relative preservation. That means her cortex was still functioning and her brain may have been working in the area that controls higher level thinking. The damage was in the area that controls motor skills. It does not matter whether she could get better, but that she was alive.

Some think it is possible Terri was aware of everything being done to her. The neuropathologist whose assessment is included in the report, said there is no way of determining through an autopsy whether a person was in a persistent vegetative state.

The report also states that the examiner found no evidence to support Michael Schiavo's theory, frequently referred to as fact by the news media, that the collapse in February 1990 was caused by an eating disorder. The autopsy report states no one ever witnessed Schiavo binging and purging. Family members said she ate a big meal the evening prior to her collapse and was not in a position to secretly purge the meal.

Terri's family stated the autopsy report showed that "Terri was not terminal, that Terri had no living will, that Terri had a strong heart and that Terri was brutally dehydrated to death."

It's hard to argue with them.
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