Thursday, March 24, 2005

Another doctor weighs in on Terri Schiavo's condition

Yesterday, Hugh Hewitt posted this affidavit from Dr. William Cheshire regarding Terri's condition. Dr. Cheshire has met Terri and reviewed the medical evidence in the case. He describes Terri's diagnosis of being in a persistent vegetative state as being "faulty."

Today the New York Times has interviewed Dr. Ronald Cranford who said, '"I have no idea who this Cheshire is," and added: "He has to be bogus, a pro-life fanatic. You'll not find any credible neurologist or neurosurgeon to get involved at this point and say she's not vegetative."'

Seems like Dr. Cranford is a bit defensive, throwing out insults instead of dealing with Cheshire's claims. Maybe he's scared that the medical community will realize his quick methods of diagnosis and lack of ordering basic tests aren't up to snuff.

From Rev. Robert Johansen piece in the National Review (Rev. Johansen has a blog by the way called Thrown Back):

The doctors brought in by the Schindlers spent approximately 14 hours examining Terri over more than two weeks; their conclusion was that Terri is not PVS, and that she may benefit from therapy.

In marked contrast, Dr. Cranford examined Terri on one occasion, for approximately 45 minutes. Another doctor for Michael Schiavo, Dr. Peter Bambikidis of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, examined Terri for about half an hour. When Dr. Bell learned of the cursory nature of these exams, he said: “You can’t do this. To make a diagnosis of PVS based on one examination is fallacious.” In Cranford’s examination, described by one witness as “brutal,” he discounted evidence under his own eyes of Terri’s responsiveness. At one point, Dr. Cranford struck Terri very hard on the forehead between her eyes. Terri recoiled and moaned, seemingly in pain. In his court testimony, Cranford dismissed the reaction and moan as a “reflex.”

"I asked Dr. Bell if he thought a moan uttered after a painful blow could be a reflex. "It's highly unlikely," he replied. He qualified his answer by noting that he had not actually seen the video of the exam, but he believes that the description of Terri's reaction is not consistent with a reflex. "A moan is not a reflex," Bell said. "A wince or grimace is not a reflex."

The article in the Times attempts to discredit Cheshire by proving that he's a Christian, he's done medical missionary work (the horror), is against embryonic stem cell research, has written poetry about the dangers of assisted suicide, and Art Caplan has never heard of him (God forbid).

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