Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Terri Schiavo's autopsy results

Just as I had suspected, the long-awaited autopsy results answered some questions while raising others...just as the whole situation has done all along.

Readers of my blog may recall that I have taken an unpopular stance on the Terri Schiavo case --- I have not unquestioningly accepted everything her parents and their spokespersons have said for the past few years. My reasons for this were healthy doses of skepticism and disappointment that grew from having first heard of the case back in the day when the Schindlers still openly praised Michael Schiavo's love and devotion to their daughter and presented themselves as the picture of a united and loving family. I also grew weary of repeated and somewhat extreme exaggerations about Terri's abilities, usually coupled with appeals for money.

I know that mine is the unpopular position to hold in Christian circles. I've been accused of "going over to the other side", of being pro-euthanasia, of no longer being a Christian, etc., all because I hold professing Christians to a standard of truth-telling.

Those who have not read my posts about Terri Schiavo are encouraged to look for them in the archives; I may post some links to them later.

At any rate, the autopsy revealed:

1. Terri Schiavo had severe, irreversible brain damage. Her brain was "profoundly atrophied" to half of its expected size.

2. Terri was blind; the "vision centers of her brain were dead".

3. Death was as a result of dehydration and not starvation. She would have been incapable of receiving food or water by mouth.

4. There was no evidence of abuse or strangulation prior to or following her collapse.

5. She did not appear to have suffered a heart attack and there was no evidence that she was given harmful drugs or other substances prior to her death.

6. There was no proof of an eating disorder prior to her collapse.

The autopsy did not reveal the cause of her collapse.

Expect, from certain circles, a smear campaign against Medical Examiner Jon Thogmartin, if it has not already begun. Expect claims of cover-ups, lies, and conspiracy. Expect that some people will simply refuse to believe the autopsy report and will invent reasons for disbelief, rather than having the courage and humility to admit they were wrong and misled, and that their blind faith in "the cause" was misplaced.

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