Straight Up with Sherri

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Starving for a Fair Diagnosis

Starving for a Fair Diagnosis
Terri Schiavo is not out of medical options. But that’s the “fact” her husband wants you to believe.

Many people believe that Terri Schiavo has had “the best of care,” and that everything has been tried by way of rehabilitation. This belief is false. In fact, Terri has had no attempts at therapy or rehabilitation since 1992, and very little had been done up to that point. Terri has not even had the physical therapy most doctors would regard as normative for someone in her condition. The result is that Terri suffers from severe muscle contractures, which have caused her body to become contorted. Physical therapy could remedy this, but husband Michael has refused to provide it.

In the course of my conversation with Dr. Morin, he made reference to the standard use of MRI and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) 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 them.

There was a moment of dead silence.

“That’s criminal,” he said, and then asked, in a tone of utter incredulity: “How can he continue as guardian? People are deliberating over this woman’s life and death and there’s been no MRI or PET?” He drew a reasonable conclusion: “These people [Michael Schiavo, George Felos, and Judge Greer] don’t want the information.”

Dr. Morin explained that he would feel obligated to obtain the information in these tests before making a diagnosis with life and death consequences. I told him that CT (Computer-Aided Tomography) scans had been done, and were partly the basis for the finding of PVS. The doctor retorted, “Spare no expense, eh?” I asked him to explain the comment; he said that a CT scan is a much less expensive test than an MRI, but it “only gives you a tenth of the information an MRI does.” He added, “A CT scan is useful only in pretty severe cases, such as trauma, and also during the few days after an anoxic (lack of oxygen) brain injury. It’s useful in an emergency-room setting. But if the question is ischemic injury [brain damage caused by lack of blood/oxygen to part of the brain] you want an MRI and PET. For subsequent evaluation of brain injury, the CT is pretty useless unless there has been a massive stroke.”
Other neurologists have concurred with Dr. Morin’s opinion. Dr. Thomas Zabiega, who trained at the University of Chicago, said, “Any neurologist who is objective would say ‘Yes’” to the question, “Should Terri be given an MRI?”



  • G'afternoon Sherri. Even more evidence to keep Terri alive (sigh). I just wonder what good it's doing.

    I'd love to see Gov. Bush get arrested, wouldn't you?

    By Blogger Beautiful Belgian Babe, at 1:55 PM  

  • bbb,
    By whom?
    The various mayors have their "standing armies" (police).
    Sheriffs have their "standing armies" (deputies).
    Gov. Bush has several "standing armies" (State patrol, National guard).
    Last time I looked, George Greer is not authorized to have a "standing army".

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 1:59 PM  

  • RWNJ I have a question you might be able to answer.

    When Reno went in and retreived Elan she was "federal." Is Govenor Bush considered in the same light should he decide to go in for Terri? I hope my question is clear.

    By Anonymous imtoast, at 2:03 PM  

  • Keep the phones ringing, the faxes faxing, and the e-mails flying. Our government, which works for us, the citizenry, needs to know that we expect them to do their jobs, and fast!

    Keep it polite, though...

    By Anonymous Mary in LA, at 2:04 PM  

  • I'm on my third fax to Jeb today. I never get involved this deeply, and I feel like one of those weird people that call the police all the time about radio waves coming from their cereal bowl. Terri has waken me up. I was numb for a very long time.

    Thank you Sherri for your web site.

    P.S. No one should die of thirst.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:10 PM  

  • imtoast,
    First, what Janet Reno did was unconstitutional by many scholars reckoning. Nonetheless, the only army that is constitutionally available to Gov. Bush is his National Guard, because that is the only Constitutionally recognized army in any State. All police forces and sheriff's deputies are illegal - but that's a different discussion. So, he can do anything he wants. I would recommend he also arrest Greer, then a different state court would have to rule on the validity of that action. State Court, not Pinellas County Court or Federal District (Tampa) Court.
    Then, Jeb could order feeding/hydration to resume as a ward of the State. And put the burden back on the Courts to try to overrule him, and find an army to do it.
    I said before Jeb Bush is a wimp!!!

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 2:20 PM  

  • RWNJ,
    I know Greer wouldn't be authorized to arrest anyone, but I'd sure love to see him try. But, in order for that to happen, J. bush would actually have to like, you know, intervene on Terri's behalf. I'm still waiting on that one.

    By Blogger Beautiful Belgian Babe, at 2:23 PM  

  • All notable and great men in history, whether for good or evil, have acted on their own. They do so, because it is necessary to achieve the ends they desire. No matter who you are or what you are trying to accomplish, someone will stand in your way.
    If Jeb Bush were to follow his oath of office to uphold Terri's constitutional rights, he would force Greer to the defense. That's the real crux of the problem: Greer has no constitutional executive or legislative power, yet he wields them with a pretense of absolute sovereignty - and Gov. Bush lets him get by with it. Absolutely amazing!!!!

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 2:38 PM  

  • RWNJ: All police forces and sheriff's deputies are illegal - but that's a different discussion.

    One that I hope you will take up at an appropriate time in the future. Or at least give us some URL pointers to understand the details behind this belief.

    I mean...I understand that local forces are not provided for by the Constitution. But can they be considered prohibited by the Constitution? If not, isn't it simply pragmatic and reasonable that local forces exist?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:47 PM  

  • This is an easy one! The United States Constitution prohibits it. See Article I, Section 10, Clause 3. It's pure Black & White!
    "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace ..."
    This is why Gov. Bush's National Guard is constitutional - Congress authorized it!

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 2:59 PM  

  • If Congress hasn't consented for local law enforcement, then certainly that clause is being violated. But hasn't Congress consented to local law enforcement? How can such a blatant violation have gone on for so long without an ammendment nullifying that clause (which I think would be the end result if this violation were really pursued, don't you?).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:11 PM  

  • I do understand her mother wanting her to stay alive, but she doesn't even know that her mother is there. I think keeping her alive and she's brain dead is just making it harder on her husband and her mother to have to go through this. It comes a time to when we have to just let go and let God. Ultimately it is her husband and the doctors decision on what is best for her. We have to consider what's best for her.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:19 PM  

  • AJ-9558

    At first when I read your comment I thought my head was going to explode!

    Then I realized you just don't have a CLUE of what you are talking about!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:27 PM  

  • RWNJ,

    Aren't all the FL National Guard in iraq killing brown people?

    Oh, wait, i wasn't supposed to say that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:55 PM  

  • No.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 3:58 PM  

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