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Old June 15th, 2005, 05:16 PM   #1
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Default Terri Schiavo Autopsy Results

"Schiavo Autopsy Shows Massive Brain Damage

By MITCH STACY

LARGO, Fla. (AP) - The autopsy released Wednesday on Terri Schiavo backed her husband's contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding she was severely and irreversibly brain-damaged and blind as well. It also found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused before she collapsed.

Yet medical examiners could not say for certain what caused her sudden 1990 collapse, long thought to have been brought on by an eating disorder.

The findings vindicated Michael Schiavo in his long and vitriolic battle with his in-laws, who insisted her condition was not hopeless and suggested that their daughter was the victim of violence by their son-in-law.

In its report, the medical examiner's office cast doubt on both the abuse and eating disorder theory.


The autopsy results on the 41-year-old woman were made public more than two months after Schiavo died of dehydration on March 31 following the removal of her feeding tube 13 days earlier. The death ended an extraordinary right-to-die battle that engulfed the courts, Congress and the White House.


The autopsy showed that Schiavo's brain had shrunk to about half the normal size for a woman her age and that it bore signs of severe damage.


``This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons,'' said Pinellas-Pasco County Medical Examiner Dr. Jon Thogmartin, who led the autopsy team. He also said she was blind, because the ``vision centers of her brain were dead.''


George Felos, attorney for Michael Schiavo, said the findings back up their contentions made ``for years and years'' that Terri Schiavo had no hope of recovery. He said Michael Schiavo plans to release autopsy photographs of her shrunken brain.


``Mr. Schiavo has received so much criticism throughout this case that I'm certain there's a part of him that was pleased to hear these results and the hard science behind them,'' Felos said.


Nevertheless, attorney David Gibbs III said Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, continue to believe she was not in a vegetative state and questioned the conclusion that she was blind.


The finding that she was blind counters a widely seen videotape released by her parents of Terri Schiavo in her hospice bed. The video showed Schiavo appearing to turn toward her mother's voice and smile. She moaned and laughed. Her head moved up and down and she seemed to follow the progress of a brightly colored Mickey Mouse balloon.


The parents said the video that showed she was aware of her surroundings, but doctors said her reactions were automatic responses and not evidence of consciousness.


In Washington, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the autopsy did nothing to change President Bush's position that Schiavo's feeding tube should not have been disconnected. He had signed a bill, rushed through by Congress in March, in a last-ditch effort to restore her feeding tube.


Thogmartin also said Schiavo would not have been able to eat or drink if given food by mouth as the Schindlers wanted after the tube was removed. In fact, he said, she might easily have choked to death if such feedings had been tried.


``Removal of her feeding tube would have resulted in her death whether she was fed or hydrated by mouth or not,'' Thogmartin told reporters.


The autopsy included 274 external and internal body images and an exhaustive review of Terri Schiavo's medical records, police reports and social services agency records.


Thogmartin said that the autopsy produced no conclusion on what triggered the temporary heart stoppage that caused her collapse and brain damage. He said there was no evidence of drug use, though he cautioned that Schiavo was not tested in 1990 for every conceivable substance that could have been in her blood.


He said there was no proof she suffered from an eating disorder such as bulimia, which can disrupt the body chemistry with lethal effect. The main piece of evidence cited for an eating disorder - the low levels of potassium in her blood in 1990 - could have been caused by the emergency treatment she received at the time, Thogmartin said.


While she had lost more than 100 pounds since high school, Schiavo never confessed to an eating disorder, she did not take diet pills and no one had witnessed her purging food, the medical examiner said.


He also discounted the possibility that she had overdosed on caffeine from drinking large amounts of tea in an effort to keep her weight down.


The cause of death was ruled dehydration from removal of the feeding tube, but the underlying reason for her brain damage was officially listed as ``undetermined.''


In addition, the autopsy found no traces of morphine in her system at her death, although she had been given two doses in the days before she died. The Schindlers had contended that morphine might have been used to speed their daughter's death.


The Schindlers fought their son-in-law in court over their daughter's fate for nearly seven years, battling to the end with conservatives at their side. Michael Schiavo said his wife never would have wanted to be kept alive artificially in such a condition.


Courts repeatedly rejected extraordinary attempts at intervention by Florida lawmakers, Gov. Jeb Bush, Congress and the president on behalf of her parents.


Experts said that the autopsy demonstrates how difficult it is for people to recover from severe brain damage.


``People should understand that sometimes, for known or unknown reasons, individuals sustain massive brain injury that for which healing is not possible,'' said Dr. Karen Weidenheim, the chief of neuropathology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. ``Everything that could have been done was done for this lady for 15 years, and this case is very tragic.''


On the Net:


Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office: http://www.co.pinellas.fl.us/forensics/ "

Recap:
1) She had massive brain damage that was irriversable.
2) She was blind.
3) Her brain shrunk 1/2 the size it should be.
4) She was never abused by her husband.
5) Morphine was not used to "speed" up death.
Opinion:
Keeping her alive was both cruel and useless. She would have rotted in her bed for the next 100 years if it was up to her parents. No merical, no medicinal treatment, nothing could have saved her. Now that I have learned that she was blind, I feel even worse that she was kept alive. Her world was dark. She would have been sitting their for the next 100 years gazing into a dark void of emptyness. I thank the husband for doing the right thing and letting her go.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 07:37 PM   #2
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yes, she deserved a life....
but she wasnt EXACTLY living one.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 07:42 PM   #3
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Are you serious? -.-

She was pretty much dead.
1) She had massive brain damage that was irriversable.
2) She was blind.
3) Her brain shrunk 1/2 the size it should be.

How could you say that she deserved to live, living like that? You would only prolong the pain and suffering that she was going through.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 07:47 PM   #4
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aeveryone deserves a life, but i think they should have put her to sleep. nevermind, that doesnt make any sense! lol
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Old June 15th, 2005, 07:49 PM   #5
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alright...
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Old June 15th, 2005, 08:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-graven-x
i think she should die-- she practically was dead.
Thank You
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Old June 15th, 2005, 08:43 PM   #7
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this just proves what i knew all along. her parents were wrong, her husband was right
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Old June 15th, 2005, 08:49 PM   #8
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i know, its kinda sad actually. her parents were denying scientific truth out of blind love for their daughter. im sure everyone would do it, but for them to deny it now is just rediculous
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Old June 15th, 2005, 08:50 PM   #9
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they shouldve just injected her with poisen or something. starving her just caused her pain. but i definatly think that she was better off dead. noone should have to live like that.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 10:25 PM   #10
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Yup...It was a good thing that she passed away...technically if she lived..she wouldn't be considered alive because she wasn't "their"...So may she res in peace...
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Old June 16th, 2005, 12:56 AM   #11
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her parents got royally pwned. im really glad science proved the micael shiavo was right the whole time. i hope her parents feel stupid
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmos
this just proves what i knew all along. her parents were wrong, her husband was right
EXACTLY. Her parents are in such denial, and after being proven wrong over and over again by scientific fact they continue to make stupid arguements.

Plus I heard people saying that you shouldnt "play god" by making her die by removing the feeding tube...but wasnt keeping her alive on a feeding tube and machines playing god in the first place?
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Old June 16th, 2005, 09:46 PM   #13
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I share a different view on this. Conservatives think this is a liberal approach to the problem, but it is my idea. Euphanasia is illegal in this country. Euphanasia is the act of helping one commit suicide. I think they should have lethally killed her instead of letting her body starve for 14(I think that's how long it was) days. I would not have let this continue on for as long as it had though.

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Old June 16th, 2005, 09:50 PM   #14
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you kinda i only said kinda, have a point.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 10:11 PM   #15
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Once your brain dead, there is no use living, I know that might sound harsh, but its true.

When your brain collapses, you lose pretty much everything, sight,sound, mobility.

I mean you could partially be brain dead and still function.

but in Terry Schiavos case she was long gone....Hell she was on a feeding tube for 15 years i think, im not too sure how long, but I know it was long.

I know I wouldnt want to live like that, not being able to hear or see, not bein able to cimmunicate, hell not even bein able to think. but I wish her family all the best.

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Old June 17th, 2005, 04:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Millermagic
I share a different view on this. Conservatives think this is a liberal approach to the problem, but it is my idea. Euphanasia is illegal in this country. Euphanasia is the act of helping one commit suicide. I think they should have lethally killed her instead of letting her body starve for 14(I think that's how long it was) days. I would not have let this continue on for as long as it had though.
i think so too. she desserves to die in the same way that mass murderers have the luxury of dying by--leathal injection
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Old June 30th, 2005, 04:04 PM   #17
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Default Re: Terri Schiavo Autopsy Results

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwshc
"Schiavo Autopsy Shows Massive Brain Damage

By MITCH STACY

LARGO, Fla. (AP) - The autopsy released Wednesday on Terri Schiavo backed her husband's contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding she was severely and irreversibly brain-damaged and blind as well. It also found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused before she collapsed.

Yet medical examiners could not say for certain what caused her sudden 1990 collapse, long thought to have been brought on by an eating disorder.

The findings vindicated Michael Schiavo in his long and vitriolic battle with his in-laws, who insisted her condition was not hopeless and suggested that their daughter was the victim of violence by their son-in-law.

In its report, the medical examiner's office cast doubt on both the abuse and eating disorder theory.


The autopsy results on the 41-year-old woman were made public more than two months after Schiavo died of dehydration on March 31 following the removal of her feeding tube 13 days earlier. The death ended an extraordinary right-to-die battle that engulfed the courts, Congress and the White House.


The autopsy showed that Schiavo's brain had shrunk to about half the normal size for a woman her age and that it bore signs of severe damage.


``This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons,'' said Pinellas-Pasco County Medical Examiner Dr. Jon Thogmartin, who led the autopsy team. He also said she was blind, because the ``vision centers of her brain were dead.''


George Felos, attorney for Michael Schiavo, said the findings back up their contentions made ``for years and years'' that Terri Schiavo had no hope of recovery. He said Michael Schiavo plans to release autopsy photographs of her shrunken brain.


``Mr. Schiavo has received so much criticism throughout this case that I'm certain there's a part of him that was pleased to hear these results and the hard science behind them,'' Felos said.


Nevertheless, attorney David Gibbs III said Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, continue to believe she was not in a vegetative state and questioned the conclusion that she was blind.


The finding that she was blind counters a widely seen videotape released by her parents of Terri Schiavo in her hospice bed. The video showed Schiavo appearing to turn toward her mother's voice and smile. She moaned and laughed. Her head moved up and down and she seemed to follow the progress of a brightly colored Mickey Mouse balloon.


The parents said the video that showed she was aware of her surroundings, but doctors said her reactions were automatic responses and not evidence of consciousness.


In Washington, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the autopsy did nothing to change President Bush's position that Schiavo's feeding tube should not have been disconnected. He had signed a bill, rushed through by Congress in March, in a last-ditch effort to restore her feeding tube.


Thogmartin also said Schiavo would not have been able to eat or drink if given food by mouth as the Schindlers wanted after the tube was removed. In fact, he said, she might easily have choked to death if such feedings had been tried.


``Removal of her feeding tube would have resulted in her death whether she was fed or hydrated by mouth or not,'' Thogmartin told reporters.


The autopsy included 274 external and internal body images and an exhaustive review of Terri Schiavo's medical records, police reports and social services agency records.


Thogmartin said that the autopsy produced no conclusion on what triggered the temporary heart stoppage that caused her collapse and brain damage. He said there was no evidence of drug use, though he cautioned that Schiavo was not tested in 1990 for every conceivable substance that could have been in her blood.


He said there was no proof she suffered from an eating disorder such as bulimia, which can disrupt the body chemistry with lethal effect. The main piece of evidence cited for an eating disorder - the low levels of potassium in her blood in 1990 - could have been caused by the emergency treatment she received at the time, Thogmartin said.


While she had lost more than 100 pounds since high school, Schiavo never confessed to an eating disorder, she did not take diet pills and no one had witnessed her purging food, the medical examiner said.


He also discounted the possibility that she had overdosed on caffeine from drinking large amounts of tea in an effort to keep her weight down.


The cause of death was ruled dehydration from removal of the feeding tube, but the underlying reason for her brain damage was officially listed as ``undetermined.''


In addition, the autopsy found no traces of morphine in her system at her death, although she had been given two doses in the days before she died. The Schindlers had contended that morphine might have been used to speed their daughter's death.


The Schindlers fought their son-in-law in court over their daughter's fate for nearly seven years, battling to the end with conservatives at their side. Michael Schiavo said his wife never would have wanted to be kept alive artificially in such a condition.


Courts repeatedly rejected extraordinary attempts at intervention by Florida lawmakers, Gov. Jeb Bush, Congress and the president on behalf of her parents.


Experts said that the autopsy demonstrates how difficult it is for people to recover from severe brain damage.


``People should understand that sometimes, for known or unknown reasons, individuals sustain massive brain injury that for which healing is not possible,'' said Dr. Karen Weidenheim, the chief of neuropathology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. ``Everything that could have been done was done for this lady for 15 years, and this case is very tragic.''


On the Net:


Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office: http://www.co.pinellas.fl.us/forensics/ "

Recap:
1) She had massive brain damage that was irriversable.
2) She was blind.
3) Her brain shrunk 1/2 the size it should be.
4) She was never abused by her husband.
5) Morphine was not used to "speed" up death.
Opinion:
Keeping her alive was both cruel and useless. She would have rotted in her bed for the next 100 years if it was up to her parents. No merical, no medicinal treatment, nothing could have saved her. Now that I have learned that she was blind, I feel even worse that she was kept alive. Her world was dark. She would have been sitting their for the next 100 years gazing into a dark void of emptyness. I thank the husband for doing the right thing and letting her go.
Terri has been in a persistent vegetative state for many years now. In fact, she didn't die in march, she died years ago when she was first declared brain dead. Just because her organs can be kept alive doesn't mean that she's a living person.


It's her own fault anyway for having her head so far up her arse and being so vain that she forced herself to vomit her body dry of nutrients
There are thousands of people dying each day because they can't afford surgery, medicine, or chemo therapy, why aren't there protesters trying to save their lives? Most of these people got diseases naturally, unlike Terri who went into a coma because she was so concerned with vanity that she puked her body dry of nutrients.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 05:02 PM   #18
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There are a lot of people out there that are Bulimic and Anorexic, on this site or not, and it doesn't help them much that you are saying that they all have their head up their asses.
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