Schiavo had irreversible brain damage-autopsy

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman who died in March after a fierce right-to-die battle that involved the U.S. Congress, was severely brain damaged and had no hope of recovery, said a medical examiner who made the results of an autopsy public on Wednesday.

The autopsy found no evidence to support her family's accusations that she suffered broken bones or other injuries as a result of abuse, and also cast doubt on allegations that an eating disorder contributed to her 1990 collapse.

The extensive examination of Schiavo's body found that her brain weighed only about half of what a healthy human brain would, Pinellas County medical examiner Jon Thogmartin, said at a news conference.

"Her brain was profoundly atrophied," he said. "This damage was irreversible."

Schiavo, who suffered a cardiac arrest in 1990 that deprived her brain of oxygen, died at a Florida hospice on March 31, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed by court order. She was 41.

She had been in what courts ruled was a "persistent vegetative state," which means she was unable to think, feel, or interact with her environment since her collapse 15 years previously.

The courts sided with her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, in ruling she would not have wanted to live like that. But her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, said she responded to them and could recover with treatment.

The Schindlers waged a seven-year legal battle to keep her alive, a cause that rallied the Christian right and prompted President Bush and the Republican-led Congress to rush through legislation giving the federal courts jurisdiction to intervene in what is normally a matter left to state courts.

Those courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, declined to order the feeding tube be reinserted.

The autopsy found that her brain was so severely damaged that no amount of therapy would have helped to regenerate it. Schiavo's parents had repeatedly said their daughter was responsive to them and could have been helped with therapy.

"She would not have been able to form any cognitive thought," said Dr. Stephen Nelson, a forensic pathologist who assisted in the autopsy. "There was a massive loss of brain tissue."

Thogmartin said Schiavo died of dehydration and did not starve to death. Supporters of Schiavo's parents had loudly complained she was being starved to death when the courts allowed the feeding tube to be removed.

...

The autopsy also found no evidence to support allegations that Schiavo had been given poison by her husband or that she had been mysteriously injected with something during or after a visit by her parents to the hospice where she was being cared for.

"No drugs or other substances given to Mrs. Schiavo caused her to die or accelerated the dying process," he said.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050615/ts_nm/rights_schiavo_dc
 

dotdotdot

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2005
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This is the most bizarre thing to the entire story.

Didn't everyone already KNOW that there was no way for her to recover??
 

Xtremehkr

macrumors 68000
Jul 4, 2004
1,897
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Bill Frist should stick to politics, cause his diagnosis was all wrong.

Unfortunately, those who were used by that whole political debacle are still going to be loathe to admit that they were tools in a political game.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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Colly-fornia
No, our esteemed Senate Leader claimed that, in his medical opinion, Schavio was reacting to visual stimulii. Of course the autopsy proved that she was blind.

For his sake, I hope Frist is a better Senator than he is a doctor. :rolleyes:
 

MontyZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2005
887
0
dotdotdot said:
Didn't everyone already KNOW that there was no way for her to recover??
Of course they did, but, some Republicans decided to use this family's horrible ordeal to their own political advantage. That's the real disgrace in all of this. Bill Frist and Tom Delay should be sued for character defamation by Schiavo's husband.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
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dotdotdot said:
This is the most bizarre thing to the entire story.

Didn't everyone already KNOW that there was no way for her to recover??
Parents always hold out hope ... even after being told it's a lost cause.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,407
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Wow, that's weird that her brain atrophied that much. Anyone know if that's a common thing with comas or is it caused by something else. Also, why not give her a CAT scan or MRI and make that determination before all the problems with removing the feeding tube....

D
 

Don't panic

macrumors 603
Jan 30, 2004
5,551
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having a drink at Milliways
GW, the GOP and the christian talibans they represent have turned out to be dead wrong on every single issue that has been controversial in the last several years but still they run the country and people support them.
unbelievable how much mileage they get out of their propaganda machine.
and sad.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
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Chicago, Illinois
Mr. Anderson said:
Wow, that's weird that her brain atrophied that much. Anyone know if that's a common thing with comas or is it caused by something else. Also, why not give her a CAT scan or MRI and make that determination before all the problems with removing the feeding tube....

D
They did. They published the results in Newsweek or Time a while back, I don't remember which. The parents still insisted she should be kept alive. That's why this was so horrifying.
 

IJ Reilly

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mactastic said:
Holding out hope and smearing someone's character are two different things.
Not if it's the only way of holding out hope. I mean, doesn't my hope outweigh all other considerations? If not, it should.
 

topgunn

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2004
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leekohler said:
They did. They published the results in Newsweek or Time a while back, I don't remember which. The parents still insisted she should be kept alive. That's why this was so horrifying.
She was alive. She was not on life support. She recognized family members. There are hundreds of people who are far worse off that are still loved and cared for by their families. Her "husband" chose to let her die of thirst. Can you imagine the pain that caused? That is the horrifying part not the parents who wanted their child to live.

Michael was/is living with another woman who bore him a child and is pregnant with the second all while he was married to Terri. He refused to comment on how much money he would receive upon Terri's death from life insurance but it is believed to be a sizable amount. This is why he did not divorce her and let the parents take over care of their daughter of which they were always willing to pay.

Also, why do you think he insisted on having an autopsy done and then immediately cremating the remains? Why did he refuse to let independent experts observe the autopsy? Sounds like he has something to hide. Because of the recent legislation regarding the autopsy of Dale Earnhardt, all images and recordings of autopsies are kept sealed. Michael Schiavo should send flowers to the Earnhardt family with a thank you note.
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,125
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North Carolina
topgunn said:
She was alive. She was not on life support. She recognized family members. There are hundreds of people who are far worse off that are still loved and cared for by their families. Her "husband" chose to let her die of thirst. Can you imagine the pain that caused? That is the horrifying part not the parents who wanted their child to live.

Michael was/is living with another woman who bore him a child and is pregnant with the second all while he was married to Terri. He refused to comment on how much money he would receive upon Terri's death from life insurance but it is believed to be a sizable amount. This is why he did not divorce her and let the parents take over care of their daughter of which they were always willing to pay.

Also, why do you think he insisted on having an autopsy done and then immediately cremating the remains? Why did he refuse to let independent experts observe the autopsy? Sounds like he has something to hide. Because of the recent legislation regarding the autopsy of Dale Earnhardt, all images and recordings of autopsies are kept sealed. Michael Schiavo should send flowers to the Earnhardt family with a thank you note.
Get over it. You realize people in persistent vegetative states are taken off life support (or whatever you want to call it) at the request of family members all the time, don't you?

The real issue here is that the Republicans shamelessly exploited a routine medical procedure, one that is required treatment in a bill signed by George W. Bush in Texas, to take national attention away from scandals such as Tom DeLay's malfeasance and failures in Iraq.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
topgunn said:
She was alive. She was not on life support. She recognized family members. There are hundreds of people who are far worse off that are still loved and cared for by their families. Her "husband" chose to let her die of thirst. Can you imagine the pain that caused? That is the horrifying part not the parents who wanted their child to live.

Michael was/is living with another woman who bore him a child and is pregnant with the second all while he was married to Terri. He refused to comment on how much money he would receive upon Terri's death from life insurance but it is believed to be a sizable amount. This is why he did not divorce her and let the parents take over care of their daughter of which they were always willing to pay.

Also, why do you think he insisted on having an autopsy done and then immediately cremating the remains? Why did he refuse to let independent experts observe the autopsy? Sounds like he has something to hide. Because of the recent legislation regarding the autopsy of Dale Earnhardt, all images and recordings of autopsies are kept sealed. Michael Schiavo should send flowers to the Earnhardt family with a thank you note.
Wow- I knew one of you would show up. Unbelievable. Thank God someone like you wouldn't be able to keep me alive in these circumstances. We treat animals better.

Did you see the brain scan before her death? Much of her brain had already turned to liquid.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
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Chicago, Illinois
wordmunger said:
Get over it. You realize people in persistent vegetative states are taken off life support (or whatever you want to call it) at the request of family members all the time, don't you?

The real issue here is that the Republicans shamelessly exploited a routine medical procedure, one that is required treatment in a bill signed by George W. Bush in Texas, to take national attention away from scandals such as Tom DeLay's malfeasance and failures in Iraq.
Exactly- this isn't unique. And you're right- they used this issue like they use all the other issues they pretend to care about.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
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Mr. Anderson said:
Wow, that's weird that her brain atrophied that much. Anyone know if that's a common thing with comas or is it caused by something else. Also, why not give her a CAT scan or MRI and make that determination before all the problems with removing the feeding tube....

D
When her brain was deprived of oxygen that caused death of brain cells. That leads to the atrophy. It has to do with the cause of her coma. Also there was a finding that she was blind, due to the death of sensory cells in her brain. That dispels the notion by her parents that she recognized them. In her condition the body is capable of non-purposeful movement.
 

MontyZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2005
887
0
What Bill Frist, Tom Delay, Rick Santorum, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson did to this woman's husband and how they lied and lied (without challenge from the news media) is just disgusting and unforgivable.

Of course, all that will happen is that these same morons will try to discredit the doctor who did the autopsy or make up some other lamebrain lie and go on every talk show to spin their fraud. And every major news channel will be glad to let them do it.

See my sig. It's so true.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
MontyZ said:
Of course, all that will happen is that these same morons will try to discredit the doctor who did the autopsy or make up some other lamebrain lie and go on every talk show to spin their fraud. And every major news channel will be glad to let them do it.

See my sig. It's so true.
Most likely will happen... since it wasn't "their expert," it was just the county wage slave.

And we all know how much the govt employees care about their job. :rolleyes:

Even if they had this same autopsy report years ago, I still think nothing would have changed.
 

ThomasJefferson

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
428
25
Virginia
"She was alive. She was not on life support."
--Not the issue

She recognized family members.
--No.

"There are hundreds of people who are far worse off that are still loved and cared for by their families."
--Not in your state (Texas) they pull the plug.

"Her "husband" chose to let her die of thirst. Can you imagine the pain that caused? That is the horrifying part not the parents who wanted their child to live."
--Yep, thats the Texas way too.


"Michael was/is living with another woman who bore him a child and is pregnant with the second all while he was married to Terri."
--Yawn.

"He refused to comment on how much money he would receive upon Terri's death from life insurance but it is believed to be a sizable amount. This is why he did not divorce her and let the parents take over care of their daughter of which they were always willing to pay."
--ZZZZzzzzzz....

"Also, why do you think he insisted on having an autopsy done and then immediately cremating the remains? Why did he refuse to let independent experts observe the autopsy? Sounds like he has something to hide."
--Her brain weighed weighed 1.35 pounds and was mostly a liquid gel substance.

"Because of the recent legislation regarding the autopsy of Dale Earnhardt, all images and recordings of autopsies are kept sealed. Michael Schiavo should send flowers to the Earnhardt family with a thank you note."
--Who is Dale Earnhardt?

--She was a veg. And the Bushavicks took what was left and used her for their own gross political agenda. End of story.