A Moment of Dead Silence

As a subjective guide to Don’s previous post, laying out facts and considerations in the case of Terri Schiavo, I offer the following anecdote from Fr. Rob Johansen, which I found via Lane Core:

In the course of our conversation, [a well-respected neurologist] made reference to the standard use of MRI and PET scans to diagnose the extent of brain injuries. He seemed to assume that these had been done for Terri. I stopped him and told him that these tests have never been done for her; that Michael had refused these tests.
There was a moment of dead silence.
“How can he continue as guardian?”, the neurologist said in a tone of utter incredulity. “He refused a non-invasive test? How can they be debating a life and death decision without these tests?” …
He said, “I can’t believe intelligent people are debating this woman’s life without these tests.”

0 0 votes
Article Rating
8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ELC
ELC
16 years ago

Brings it into an all-the-more frightening focus, no?

Buckland
Buckland
16 years ago

I guess this is the conservative version of the Dan Rather Syndrome — accept without verification anything that supports what I believe. But then again it was on the internet, so it must be true… The 2nd district court full panel, Judges Alterben, Fulmer and Stringer (no Greer in sight) looked at the work of a panel of 5 neurologists who examined Terri. Two chosen by the Schindlers, 2 by Michael Schiavo, and 1 by the court, a Prof at Case Western U. http://www.2dca.org/opinion/June%2006,%202003/2D02-5394.pdf “Through the assistance of Mrs. Schiavo’s treating physician, Dr. Victor Gambone, the physicians obtained current medical information about Theresa Schiavo including high-quality brain scans. Each physician reviewed her medical records and personally conducted a neurological examination of Mrs. Schiavo. Lengthy videotapes of some of the medical examinations were created and introduced into evidence. Thus, the quality of the evidence presented to the guardianship court was very high, and each side had ample opportunity to present detailed medical evidence, all of which was subjected to thorough cross-examination. It is likely that no guardianship court has ever received as much high-quality medical evidence in such a proceeding.” The results of the panel was a split decision. The doctors appointed by the Schindlers said that she was not in a PVS, the ones appointed by Michael and the Case Prof agreed that she was. What’s more interesting is that all were in complete agreement on her present condition. All 5 (including those appointed by the Schindlers) agreed that she had massive and permanent damage to her brain. All 5 agreed that no treatment would restore any cognitive ability. The difference is whether there is a small, isolated section of her cerbral cortex that is still alive. There’s a lot of crap on the internet about this case. Most isn’t… Read more »

Buckland
Buckland
16 years ago

While on the subject of internet myths: One (not mentioned in this posting but on this site) is the whole “bone scan” topic. A bone scan was done that show multiple injuries before her death. That means that the death was probably caused by her husband. For some reason neither the court nor law enforcement really hasn’t looked into this. One minor issue… It.never.happened. The bone scan issue came from an October 2002 filing that the Schindlers made. It said they had a bone scan made in 1991 that shows multiple injuries. However they refused to produce it for the court and in Novemer 2002 the judge ruled it out of order. So, if there’s a “bone scan” out there that shows such dramatic proof, why was its existence hidden for 11 years? Why has it still not been produced? The reason, of course, is that it doesn’t really exist, and nobody really cares to go back and ask tough questions of a grieving family. Besides spouse abuse is a cool story that everybody understands. So, my challenge is — before you refer to Michael Schiavo as an criminal again — find this bone scan. Not a synopsis of it. Not a review. I’ll pay copying expenses if it can’t be posted on the internet. But then again, it’s referred to so many times on the internet that it MUST be somewhere. One final point on this: After Terri’s collapse Michael and the Schindlers sued her doctors (they were still friends then) for malpractice. The doctors failed to diagnose and treat Terri’s bulimia problem, contributing to the collapse. The family won a judgement (about $1.5 million, can’t remember right now) and later settled the case with the doctors for less before the appeal. During the malpractice pretrial, the doctors examined… Read more »

Buckland
Buckland
16 years ago

Final thought (really).
After I wrote the notes above, I got a call from an very conservative attorney friend of mine. He brought up a good point.
Have you ever wondered why no conservative media person will touch this story? Sure, David Limbaugh wrote a pretty generic support of Terri, a few other weak drinks elsewhere.
You’d think that if things were this bad some of the really good, well known writers or talk show hosts would join in. But really nothing about the bonescans from Hannity or any other. There’s a simple reason for this.
Right now people are terrified (horrible pun) of libel. They are afraid that if they cover this issue on a show that a guest will say something that’s both false and easily verifiable — like Schiavo is a murderer. Presto, $1 million vanishes in an easy libel judgement.
Saying things that are false when they can be easily verified can cause trouble.
But we each have to find a comfort zone for these things.

Justin Katz
16 years ago

Gee, Buckland, does the “right to die” crowd send its talking points in Microsoft Word, or do you have to type them out yourself?
I’ll leave your comments up so that readers can read another side, but I trust that they will find, as do I, your silence on the great bulk of points to be conspicuous. Perhaps they’ll also find it curious that an anonymous commenter repeatedly offers to pay for things. Or perhaps they’ll shake their heads in knowledge that the reason the bone scan’s existence was “hidden for 11 years” was that Michael Schiavo kept Terri’s medical records sealed. And there’s no physical bone scan available because there was only a report of the scan in the files. (For all I know, that is or was the standard procedure for handling bone scans, so there may be nothing peculiar about missing the physical scan, anyway.)
And as for your lightly veiled libel threat, well, on that count, I hope readers will laugh.

Buckland
Buckland
16 years ago

Obviously I have offended much more than intended. For that I offer my sincere apologies. The libel post should not have been made. It was just that I got a call from a friend right after making the earlier posts. But you’re right, it did come more as a threat than intended. BTW, I am not an attorney. As for posting anonymously is that the tensions are way too high on this point. Buckland is a town in the Shire, in Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings) known for its tobacco production, much like my former hometown in Virginia. Judge Greer has gotten over 100 death threats over his handling of the issue. Discussions of life and death I can do. Flames or even worse I can live without. As to the bone scans — From the appeals court decision the Schindlers claim to have it. Schiavo’s attorneys claim to have heard of it, but don’t have it in their posession. A doctor claims to have ordered it in 1991, but doesn’t actually say that it was done. So you may be right on the fact that a scan was actually done (the wording is ambiguous on that). But if it was done by their own admission it has been in the possession of the Schindlers since 1991. http://abstractappeal.com/schiavo/trialctorder11-02-scan.pdf If there are other points you wish addressed I will address them. I stopped at 3 because these seem to be the biggest out there and I didn’t want to fill up your inbox on this subject. I’m not part of any right to die group, but my political leanings lead to a lot of choice for what medical procedures will be accepted when near the end, and if a patient is not able to choose, then those nearest the patient… Read more »

ELC
ELC
16 years ago

Hey, Buckwheat. The next time you send me a smarmy e-mail, you summon what little courage is needed to use your own name and a real e-mail address. Text follows.
——————
It’s horrible to withhold such basic medical care.
Good thing it didn’t happen.
http://www.2dca.org/opinion/June%2006,%202003/2D02-5394.pdf
Trashing somebody because you don’t like them or they do something you don’t
approve of is internet cool today.
Spreading an internet story without checking it out is unforgivable.
G-O-O-G-L-E
Buckland
——————
Quite a few hundreds of millions of people could conceivably send an e-mail to me. Each one gets one chance to make a first impression, by which I must decide whether I want to pay that individual any attention. You blew yours big time. Named or not, you’re nobody deserving of my attention, ever again.
Sorry to slop up your comments, Justin.

The Senescent Man
16 years ago

An Anchor to the Side of the Head

Anchor Rising has done it again with two related snd powerful posts by different authors on the subject of Terri Schindler-Schiavo.
Justin Katz points out an anecdote about the reaction of a “well respected neurologist” who could not understand wh…

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.