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« "I was the one that was the recipient of candy" | Main | A different drummer »

March 19, 2005

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Feelings rule, and facts need not apply.

You're kidding, right?

You're left with a woman who suffered a heart attack 15 years ago, who essentially died but was resuscitated, though not entirely. Her brain had suffered enormous damage from the heart attack. As time passed, her brain further deteriorated -- to the point where much if not most of her cerebral cortex (the portion of the brain that controls conscious thought, among other things) was literally gone, replaced by spinal fluid.

The extent to which Terri's brain has deteriorated is one of the key disputes here. The belief that her cerebral cortex "has been replaced by spinal fluid" is based largely on a CAT scan, which many neurologists believe is entirely inadequate for such a determination.

From NRO:

Terri’s diagnosis was arrived at without the benefit of testing that most neurologists would consider standard for diagnosing PVS. One such test is MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). MRI is widely used today, even for ailments as simple as knee injuries — but Terri has never had one. Michael has repeatedly refused to consent to one. The neurologists I have spoken to have reacted with shock upon learning this fact....

And when you say this:

The courts -- not the husband -- determined time and again that Terri Schiavo would not have wanted to go on living as she is now

I cannot tell if you realize how tenuous this claim is. Nobody ever heard of this claim until after Michael Schiavo had collected over $1 million in lawsuits. And after he had tried to prevent Terri from being treated with antibiotics to cure a urinary tract infection that otherwise would have killed her (there is no dispute about this part of the story--he admitted this in court:

Attorney: When you made the decision that you were not going to treat Terri’s infection and you were, in effect, going to allow her to die, did you think that you had any obligation to tell her parents?

Michael: To answer that question, I probably would have let them know sooner or later.


Then Terri's parents tried to have him removed as guardian, and, while trying to have the feeding tube removed, Michael declared in 1998 for the first time that Terri had expressed a wish to die in these circumstances.

The courts did not "determine time and time again" that Terri would want to die. Judge Greer held a hearing and believed Michael's story, which amounted to an alleged single comment by Terri when watching a movie (later "corroborated" by Michael's brother and sister-in-law).

Your heart's in the right place but this is not about emotions running wild (alright, I'll grant you--it's not only about emotions running wild.) The people who are burning the phones and wailing about injustice are doing so for very specific and rather detailed reasons.

Start here.

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