Tuesday, March 22, 2005
More More More
Thanks to Ilyka for the link to this CT picture. This study is nine years old and is apparently the only brain image obtained on Ms. Schiavo. I reiterate: get me more studies. I'd like to see the PET and MRI. The cortex looks godawful to my reading, but then I'm not a radiologist or neurologist. And yes, there is cortex present - I expected there to be, actually; I don't think one gets complete cortex liquefaction except in full-on brain death, and it's clinically obvious that this is not a case of brain death. How well is the cortex functioning, is my question. (And, for the record, it is completely medically incorrect to speak of "liquefied brain" or a "bag of water" or "brainstem only" based on this CT, and I chastise the MD's who did so in court. I still think it's highly likely that she is in PVS, and I don't expect her ever to improve, but for God's sake, people, let us be accurate.)
University of Miami Ethics Dept. has more info on the case here.
I suddenly remembered a book on bioethics and euthanasia that I once read that I can highly recommend - Dancing with Mr. D, by Bert Keizer. The writer is a physician in the Netherlands, works in a long-term care facility, and has been involved in several cases of euthanasia (with full patient consent, I hasten to add). For the record, I loathe Jack Kevorkian and I would not be in favor of legalizing euthanasia, but this book is excellent. His patients are not just targets to be knocked off. He has well-established relationships with them and in some cases becomes close to their families as well. I think it's out of print, so try the library. It's difficult reading but it's very good.
Now. Change of subject. Email from V. regarding a patient she saw today:
There ain't nuttin' like examining a happy boy for a hernia.
OK, sir, you can pull up your drawers - NOW!!
And it didn't help that he came in for a nasal cellulitis. I felt like I was groping Rudolph!!