Schiavo Autopsy

As Geoff B. over at that less reputable blog is a little embarrassed from all his previous Schiavo ranting and hasn’t posted on the autopsy, I thought I’d create a forum where we can hash some things out.

First, is the autopsy credible? Was Schiavo really in a persistent vegetative state from which she would never recover?

Second, if yes, does this change the debate at all? Sure we can all take some freebie shots after the autopsy results but hasn’t the debate remained exactly the same? Meaning, those who pushed for continuing to keep Terry on life support would do so even with this new information, right?

Third, who is creepier the husband or the parents?


  1. First: Why would we think the autopsy is anything less than credible? Is there reason to think the medical examiner incompetent? Is there reason to think he has a political agenda? I think the question is a strange one.

    Second: It probably does nothing to change the debate. It does, however, tell us that Michael Schiavo stood on solid ground when he said her case was hopeless from a medical perspective. And, I think, it makes those who were so vocal and careless in throwing accusations of misconduct and impure motive at him look downright malicious. And the politicians who meddled in this case just look plain foolish.

    Third: The parents. No question in my mind.

  2. You shamed him into it, HL. I think the autopsy should be embarrassing to whole lot of people. This is what happens when you try to turn someone’s life into a political statement.

  3. Yeah- Why do you think that the autopsy is wrong? Unlike the honorable Senator from Tennesee, the medical examiner actually has his hands on the patient, her organs, etc.
    I agree with CW’s second point, but don’t expect an apology from the right-wing opportunists.

  4. Oh, and another point in reference to M*- don’t take medical advice from a massage therapy student.

  5. HL Rogers says:

    Quick clarification: my post does not argue that the autopsy was wrong or that the examiner is unqualified, it simply acknowledges the fact that many critics have questioned the medical skills of many experts used on both sides of the case.

    And yes, Geoff should be ashamed.

  6. D. Fletcher says:

    I haven’t really weighed in on this tragic story, because I don’t have anything meaningful to add. It seemed to me, a mess on all sides. But ultimately, if the parents were willing to pay for the costs of her “upkeep,” why not let them? Although there is no evidence that her collapse had anything to do with the husband or his mistreatment of her, why was he so insistent that she be taken off the machines? It’s all a creepy, creepy mess, made worse by being blown up and argued about by an entire world.

  7. N Miller says:

    1-Yes, credible
    2-I think it assists in the debate. A part of the parents case was that things could turn for the better, that she could feel and understand what was going on. I believe the autopsy can disprove or at least sidestep the theory that her husband was abusing her.
    On this topic, I think many people, including Schiavo’s parents and Pres. Bush, are not changing their stance because of pride. “I was right and no matter what the outcome is I will still be right” or so they say. I think it is good to stick with what you believe, but when new data comes to view, you need to add that to the mix.
    3 – The Parents

  8. What data could possibly come from the autopsy that bears on the key questions? Is Terri Schiavo conscious? Does she have a soul? I would be interested to hear about the latest “soul-measurement” techniques being used in autopsies these days.

  9. JCP, I believe she only weighed 15 grams less, and so the doctors were confused.

  10. Steve, LOL!

  11. Laurie DiPadova-Stocks says:

    With regard to the third question: parents and husbands are entitled to their own degree of creepiness in such intensely tragic matters–and even in less intensely tragic matters. Terri’s family members are in their own brutal agony. Parents and husband are citizens, just like the rest of us.

    The real creeps in this matter are the President, Senator Frist, Jeb Bush, and others in the Congress who engaged in the intrusion of the most powerful governmental deliberative body in the world, into an intensely private, personal and painful situation. These people are elected by us private citizens for the purpose of protecting public trust. We pay their salaries and expenses.

    In contrst, we did not elect the parents and husband; we do not pay their salaries; they are not accountable to us. They need not be subjected to our (frankly) ungrounded judgments.

    We need to hold the real creeps accountable. While they play a tragedy for political purposes, they do not bother to address the urgent issue of the health care of 46 million uninsured Americans.

    Who in the media is bothering to reference what was learned decades ago from the Karen Quinlan case? This entire drama was a play for political points, not for the truth, and cetainly not for human dignity.

    The jihadists must be jubliant to see the leaders of the most powerful military in the world focused on such individual private issues.


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