Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Bill Frist: Bad Senator, Horrible Doctor?

Well, I guess I'm going to have to cancel those plans to attend Dr. Bill Frist's seminars on video diagnosis and continue to take the time to examine patients the old fashioned way. The autopsy results are out on Terry Schiavo showing she was severely and irreversibly brain-damaged, confirming the presence of a persistent vegetative state. According to the AP report:

"This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons," said Pinellas-Pasco County Medical Examiner Dr. Jon Thogmartin, who led the autopsy team. He also said she was blind, because the "vision centers of her brain were dead."

While the practice of video diagnosis was considered inappropriate at the time, the autopsy reports further discredit the diagnosis from Dr. Frist. Frist questioned the presence of a persistent vegetative state:

"I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office," he said in a lengthy speech in which he quoted medical texts and standards. "She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli."

I note that many conservative sites are arguing that the autopsy results do not change their positon. That is no surprise. When has the right wing let the facts influence their opinions?


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