Wednesday, June 15, 2005

No surprises: Terri Schiavo's autopsy

Terri Schiavo's autopsy has been made public (the full .pdf report is available from the NYTimes.com site).  There seems to be no medical surprises, including the conclusion that there is no evidence of abuse.  Presumably there will be a few days here of hysteria and name calling based on the autopsy but it really shouldn't make any difference.  Those opposed to withdrawing nutritional support from Ms. Schiavo did so on ethical/moral/religious grounds & their beliefs about Terri's wishes, and the autopsy isn't going to change that (although perhaps they'll back off from some of their more unsubstantiated claims such as she was abused).  & for those of us who believe that Michael Schiavo had the right, per his understanding of his wife's wishes, to discontinue tube feeding, there is nothing new from the autopsy that wasn't already well established in her public medical record. 
I was somewhat surprised, though, at how definitively the pathologists stated in the press conference that her rehab potential was nil.  I'm not surprised by that conclusion, just that they felt it was important to so publicly state it.  One wonders if this was their way of putting their own two cents in about the entire disgraceful episode.

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