Terry Schiavo’s autopsy report is being released at this moment, and the AP has the first few details:
Terri Schiavo did not suffer any trauma prior to her 1990 collapse and her brain was about half of normal size when she died, according to results released Wednesday of an autopsy conducted on the severely brain-damaged woman.
Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Jon Thogmartin concluded that there was no evidence of strangulation or other trauma leading to her collapse. He also said she did not appear to have suffered a heart attack.
“The brain weighed 615 grams, roughly half of the expected weight of a human brain. … This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons.”
The autopsy also concludes that Schiavo was blind, due to the fact that the vision centers of Schiavo’s brain were destroyed.
I’m guessing the autopsy report will settle the issue as to Schiavo’s condition… except for those people who choose to believe otherwise. For example, one “Pro-Life” blog prepared readers for the report by predicting it would be “outlandish:”
While I don’t know what the autopsy report will say, I’m going to go out on a limb here: I predict that the autopsy report will, in at least a tentative way, offer a conclusion that Terri was in a PVS.
I say this for three reasons:
Firstly (and perhaps this is just my cynicism coming out), it would fit the generally unfortunate and dishonest way that the rest of the Terri Schiavo saga has played out.
Secondly, doctors with whom I have discussed the Schiavo case share my pessimistic outlook. Dr. Peter Morin, a Boston neurologist interviewed for my March 16 NRO article, said that he anticipated “gross overstatements regarding the implications of the neuropathology.”
Yes, well… that’s the kind of open mindedness that we’ve come to expect.
This was a private, family tragedy in which cynical politicians shamelessly exploited a brain-dead woman for political advantage. Many, many people owe both Michael and Terri Schiavo an apology.