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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Bloggers' Best for Terri

Dory at Wittenberg Gate is hosting a bloggers' roundup to bring more attention to the plight of Terri Schiavo and drum up support for her. It is possible that Terri’s husband will be able to have Terri's feeding tube legally removed as early as February 22nd. Though a legal battle between Michael Schiavo and Terri’s parents has been going on for years, the gavel always seems to come down on Michael’s side.

I am hoping that somehow, some way, the remarkable story of Sarah Scantlin which has just come to light may also help save Terri. Sarah, the victim of a drunken driver, has begun to speak after 20 years of silence. Note what Sarah’s doctor, Bradley Scheel, had to say about it:
physicians are not sure why she suddenly began talking but believe critical pathways in the brain may have regenerated. It is extremely unusual to see something like this happen.

Contrast that to what Michael Schiavo and his attorney George Felos told Larry King about the state of Terri’s brain (in an interview on Larry King Live, October 27, 2003):
KING: And you've made available for us a brain scan of her [Terri], right?


KING: Let's show that. And I saw the piece in "The New York Times" yesterday, in which a neurologist says that this is a brain- dead person.

FELOS: What you see in the middle of Terri's skull there, that black area is spinal fluid. That's where her cerebrum used to be. And because of the lack of oxygen, it atrophied and decayed away. What the court-appointed expert said that you can't get any more abnormal than this. Literally, her cerebrum isn't there anymore.


If you have a blog and have posted on Terri in the past, or have something to say about her now, please see the link above and send a post to Dory to include in the roundup.

And pray, pray, pray.


  • It would be interesting to know how much damage had been done to the recovered woman's brain. It's impressive but not unreasonable that the brain should be able to route around some damage, even if it takes a while. Growing a new cerebellum would seem somewhat less likely (lest there be any confusion, I'm British, and that was understatement).

    I'm not trying to take a position on this btw. I think if the individual is able to indicate that they want to die then they should be allowed to (and from where I currently sit, if I was ever in that situation I think I'd want to die). But in the absence of that confirmation I really have no idea what the 'right' thing is.

    By Blogger Paul, at 4:53 PM  

  • Hi Paul,

    The point I wanted to make was: how “expert” are the experts? It’s clear that there are unknowns regarding the brain and its functions. Also, can we trust the testimony regarding the condition of Terri's brain? Not all “experts” are always completely on the level, and even if they are, equally-qualified experts often disagree.

    The bottom line is this: Terri is alive. She requires assistance with eating only, as far as staying alive goes, and her ability to eat on her own most likely could have been rehabilitated had she been given opportunity. To remove her feeding tube would kill her, in a most uncomfortable way (reduced cognitive awareness notwithstanding).

    By Blogger Bonnie, at 2:36 PM  

  • And yet Terri can and does speak. She is able to say "Mum" and "Dad" among a few other words. She's not brain dead at all. I've blogged on this too, like many others. I've seen footage of her on television also - her obvious responses to people, her emotional expression and the fact that she only needs a tube inserted for feeding - all indicate a woman with a disability - not a brain dead woman on life support. It's a terrible decision to remove her feeding tube and I hope it doesn't happen.

    By Blogger Catez, at 1:58 AM  

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