Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dr. Frist's Erroneous Diagnosis

The story is so sad, I hate to even bring it up:
LARGO, Fla. (AP) -- An autopsy on Terri Schiavo backed her husband's contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding that she had massive and irreversible brain damage and was blind, the medical examiner's office said Wednesday.
...
He [Medical Examiner Jon Thogmartin] also said she was blind, because the ''vision centers of her brain were dead,'' and that her brain was about half of its expected size when she died 13 days following the feeding tube's removal.
Dr. Frist came to a very different conclusion last March:
"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."
His comments raised eyebrows in medical and political circles alike. It is not every day that a high-profile physician relies on family videotapes to challenge the diagnosis of doctors who examined a severely brain-damaged patient in person.

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