Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Schiavo Autopsy Results
No surprises here:
An autopsy on Terri Schiavo backed her husband's contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding that she had massive and irreversible brain damage and was blind, the medical examiner's office said Wednesday. It also found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused.
But what caused her collapse 15 years ago remained a mystery. The autopsy and post-mortem investigation found no proof that she had an eating disorder, as was suspected at the time, Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Jon Thogmartin said.
Autopsy results on the 41-year-old brain-damaged woman were made public Wednesday, more than two months after her death March 31 ended a right-to-die battle between her husband and parents that engulfed the courts, Congress and the White House and divided the country.
Her parents cling to their belief that her condition could have improved, in spite of the autopsy report, their lawyer said.
I do think the autopsy information is helpful regarding the extent of the damage to her central nervous system: "The brain weighed 615 grams, roughly half of the expected weight of a human brain," he said. "This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons." That's pretty conclusive.
I'm sure Schiavo's parents are going through a very difficult time. I hope they are eventually able to make their peace with the medical information now available.