Skip to comments.Schiavo Videotape Misleading, Experts Say
Posted on 03/23/2005 2:19:08 PM PST by ambrose
Schiavo Videotape Misleading, Experts Say
Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:06 PM GMT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The videotape that runs endlessly on television stations around the world shows an apparently smiling Terri Schiavo being caressed by her mother's loving hand.
She seems to look deeply, even lovingly, into the off-camera eyes of her mother.
Schiavo's parents and their supporters, including doctors in Congress, have used the tape as evidence the 41-year-old brain-damaged woman is at least occasionally aware of her surroundings and might even be revived from her condition.
They are fighting to get her feeding tube reinserted against the wishes of her husband and legal guardian who says Schiavo would not want to be kept alive in that condition.
But many experts agree the tape is a cruelly misleading trick of biology.
"Pictures do lie," said Dr. Lawrence Schneiderman, a physician and bioethicist at the University of California, San Diego.
"Every time they have done a videotaped neurological examination, the courts have reviewed them and said, 'Yes this woman is unconscious.' Those movements of her eyeballs are reflexive and have nothing to do with recognition."
Studies of people whose cerebral cortices are damaged in the way Schiavo's is show that their eyes will respond to stimuli such as movement or a human face, but there is no way for them to be conscious of what they are seeing.
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has been part of the fight to prolong Schiavo's life, said on Wednesday a review of Schiavo's medical records by a neurologist for Florida's Adult Protective Services indicated she may have been misdiagnosed and was more likely in a state of minimal consciousness rather than in a persistent vegetative state.
Such a condition, in which a patient slips in and out of consciousness, was sometimes mistaken for a persistent vegetative state, said Dr. Joseph Fins of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. But Schiavo was not in that state, Fins said.
"I think now it can be argued that with the advent of minimally conscious state (as a diagnosis), that permanent vegetative state as a diagnosis becomes much more certain," Fins said in a telephone interview.
It is almost certain that when someone suffers brain damage from a lack of oxygen, they are permanently vegetative, Fins said. Schiavo's brain was starved of oxygen after her heart stopped 15 years ago and most doctors who have examined her say there is no chance of recovery.
Dr. Ronald Cranford, a neurologist and bioethicist at the University of Minnesota Medical School, said reflexes can fool nonspecialists.
"To the families and loved ones, and to inexperienced health care professionals, PVS (permanent vegetative state) patients often look fairly 'normal,"' Cranford said in a statement.
"Their eyes are open and moving about during the periods of wakefulness that alternate with periods of sleep; there may be spontaneous movements of the arms and legs, and at times these patients appear to smile, grimace, laugh, utter guttural sounds, groan and moan, and manifest other facial expressions and sounds that appear to reflect cognitive functions and emotions, especially in the eyes of the family."
Dr. Timothy Quill of the Center for Palliative Care and Clinical Ethics at the University of Rochester in New York, said reporting about the case had confused people.
"Distortion by interest groups, media hyperbole, and manipulative use of videotape have characterized this case and demonstrate what can happen when a patient becomes more a precedent-setting symbol than a unique human being," Quill wrote in a commentary published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"Anybody who been around patients in a persistent vegetative state knows that it is an unnerving phenomenon because they are alternate between sleep and wakefulness but that have no ability to interact," Quill said in a telephone interview.
"It is difficult for families because it is very difficult to discern that."
I believe this article as much as I believe Der Sturmer, the official Nazi Party news publication.
WHICH "experts"? An article that isn't willing to quote real sources is pretty much bunk.
These people would have us ignore what our own eyes tell us, and what the family tells us.
I am glad Bush is taking her into protective custody. There are plenty of other so-called experts who say something different about Terri, including the one the Florida protective services people used from Mayo today.
When there is doubt like this, differing medical opinions, when the family is split like it is...you err on the side of life.
Bush understands this and is acting accordingly.
Cripes, I'm getting more and more %&#!ing confused with each new article.
It seems like everyone has a different idea of what PVS is and whether Terri Sciavo has it.
My current favorite was the "news" report yesterday that "experts" claim people starving to death experience euphoria.
One of these days I'm going to make a compilation of all the thoroughly ridiculous things that journalists allege "experts agree" on.
I saw a video where someone asked her to open her eyes and she opened them really wide. It wasn't a reflex. So what if her life is similar to that of a baby. That doesn't mean she should die.
whatever. she stays alive when fed, and that about settles it.
Exactly...and in such an environement what should we do? Kill her, or err on the side of life? The answer is obvious.
Gee, that sounds like reasonable doubt to me....
I won't believe it until I see it.
I don't believe what I see.
I believe what I want to believe.
What does it have to do with the courts siding with some appearent prick on hearsay testimony?
Is this article really trying to ellude to killing a person if they are in a PVS no matter what!?
Does anyone ever stop and ask these "experts" if they are pro-choice?
Because I'd bet most of them are. And therefore, their motives are suspect.
"It's just gas."
"I believe this article as much as I believe"
I'll add that they can look at you with intense glare as if they know you.
Then they'll give the same recognizing glare out into space.
The one's I've seen have more seeming eye recognition ability than Terri, less vocal sounds.
I don't know what her real medical condition is, and I accept the possibility the doctors on either side are correct. But the case still troubles me and I wouldn't remove the tube at this point due to all the familiar facts - differences in medical opinions and observations, the husband's estrangement, and teh parents' desire to provide additional care.
I pointed to a tree, and asked my dog "what's that?" He said "bark!"
I guess it all depends on which experts you ask.
Someone that has PVS.
But I forgot...She's not a crook, a criminal, a murderous sexual predator...She's not entitled to the same due process...
The Lord is Terri's Shepherd --- That's Relationship !!!
She shall not want --- That's Supply !!!
He maketh her to lie down in green pastures --- That's Rest !!!
He leadeth her beside the still waters --- That's Refreshment !!!
He restoreth her soul --- That's Healing !!!
He leadeth her in the paths of righteousness --- That's Guidance !!!
For His name sake --- That's Purpose !!!
Yea, though Terri walks through the valley of the shadow of death --- That's Testing !!!
She will fear no evil --- That's Protection !!!
For Thou art with her --- That's Faithfulness !!!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort her --- That's Discipline !!!
Thou preparest a table before Terri in the presence of her enemies--- That's Hope !!!
Thou annointest her head with oil --- That's Consecration !!!
Her cup runneth over --- That's Abundance !!!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow Terri all the days of her life --- That's Blessing !!!
And she will dwell in the house of the Lord --- That's Security!!!
Forever --- That's Eternity !!!
Congressional Subpoena & President Signs Schiavo Bill --- That's Expectation !!!
Gov. Jeb Bush takes Terri into protective custody --- That's Deliverance !!!
Face it ---- The Lord is crazy about Terri !!!
Otherwise --- Why else would He continuously deliver her from
the evil hands of her attempted murderers ???
We need more STUDIES!
I think there needs to be more clinical research to determine what is at work here.
I submit Terri Schiavo as an excellent case study. Would you agree she should be taken from the hospice, put back on the tube, given fluids, food and electrolytes, therapy and further therapeutic help, further congnitive analysis, and we can conduct even more and detailed tests? I agree! We could do those tests for the next number of weeks or months, maybe even a few years or more comprehensive tests studying reflexes, will, PVS, etc. Now you do realize that meanwhile that would give others of us chance to get her parents back into true guardianship from her former spouse who is now engaged to be remarried.
Since this is such a controversial issue and the data is incomplete and the jury is out, we should side on the side of care and life, as research continues. Yeah, maybe we SHOULD study these PVS-reflex-willing movement cases more closely!
"What does this have to do with state and federal sanction starvation of an innocent woman?"
There's good arguments that PVS or not life should not be terminated. But many are relying on the video shots propping up Terri in a chair, etc., for their position that she's not PVS - implicitly if she were the tube could be removed.
She must be seriously sick.
Every second counts after this many days.
Who are you gonna believe, *US* or your *LYING EYES*?
I count four named sources. Did you actually read the story?
Experts said that the HMS Titanic could not sink.
Last I checked, she's two miles below the waves.
I do not place much faith in 'experts'. They are wrong more often than not.
" Studies of people whose cerebral cortices are damaged in the way Schiavo's is show that their eyes will respond to stimuli such as movement or a human face, but there is no way for them to be conscious of what they are seeing. "
What about the video showing her purposefully following the balloon moving from side to side, moving not just her eyes but her whole head?? It seems like a conscious act to me.
At one point "experts" thought the Earth was flat.
Even if the article were true (which is doubtful in light of REAL EVIDENCE YOU COULD SEE AND HEAR FOR YOURSELVES IF YOU WANTED) that doesn't justify killing her... unless we've finally devolved to a eugenics society.
Any one of us could be labeled as subhuman using the types of argumentation in this case. I'm just a machine, for example, a bundle of nerves typing this, and because I stubbed my toe this morning and life is tough, I wouldn't want to live this way. Nor are my protests to the contrary to be believed BECAUSE of my subhuman state. The state knows best.
The state is, in fact, shirking its duty according to the 14th Amendment.
Experts say "Who are you going to believe, us or your own eyes?".
I pray he does so soon, very soon.
That's what I think. There's way too much doubt.
I guess in lieu of not being able to know, we should err on the side of letting her live.
( Checking credibility-meter.)
I do not suppose there is any way to persuade you how totally self-defeating this whole emotional tangent over a local case in Florida, is to the cause of restoring Conservative values in America!
So if the tape that is out there is "misleading", why is there no other videotape available? As far as that goes, how much of whatever medical records there are on Terri Schiavo, have been made available for perusal by qualified medical personnel who have no stake in the outcome either way?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Apparently you've not seen the video I'm referring to. There's a difference between opening your eyes and opening them wide. If you believe your dog said bark, you need help.
Bioethecists are really scary people. Read what novelist Dean Koontz wrote about these people, back in 2001. It's a stunning passage.
"Great universities like Harvard and Yale, like Princeton, once citadels of knowledge where truth might be pursued, had become well-oiled machines of death, instructing medical students that killing should be viewed as a form of healing, that only selected people who meet a series of criteria have a right to exist, that there is no right or wrong, that death is life We are all Darwinians now, are we not? The strong survive longer, the weak die sooner, and since this is the plan of Nature, shouldnt we help the old green gal in her work? Accept your expensive diploma, toss your mortarboard in the air to celebrate, and then go kill a weakling for Mother Nature.
Somewhere Hitler smiles. They say that he killed the disabled and the sick (not to mention the Jews) for all the wrong reasons, but if in fact there is no wrong or right, no objective truth, then all that really matters is that he did kill them, which by the standards of contemporary ethics, makes him a visionary."
Dean Koontz, One Door Away From Heaven December 2001
Exactly. I work with patients like her everyday (in a DD hospital that hold about 100 patients like Terri.) Her brain is seriously damaged and she will likely never improve, just like the experts in this article assert. Nevertheless, she should not be killed, but rather treated humanely and sustained.
We can always count on Reuters to give a balanced account of every issue. After all, they were so objective in their coverage of the Presidential election. Impossible to detect who they wanted to win.
Who speaks for Terri ?
Michael loves another.
Who cares for Terri ?
They wont let her mother.
Whos feeding Terri ?
Greer says, no food at all.
Who will save Terri ?
We watch our nation fall.
Oh, please...and they expect us to take this seriously?
In cases where other doctors don't see it, Dr. Cranford seems to have a knack for finding PVS. Cranford also diagnosed Robert Wendland as PVS. He did so in spite of the fact that Wendland could pick up specifically colored pegs or blocks and hand them to a therapy assistant on request. He did so in spite of the fact that Wendland could operate and maneuver an ordinary wheelchair with his left hand and foot, and an electric wheelchair with a joystick, of the kind that many disabled persons (most famously Dr. Stephen Hawking) use. Dr. Cranford dismissed these abilities as meaningless. Fortunately for Wendland, the California supreme court was not persuaded by Cranford's assessment.
Our 'experts' right here on FR have spoken. Their truth is the only possible truth.
"I saw a video where someone asked her to open her eyes and she opened them really wide. It wasn't a reflex."
I have heard that that 4 minute video was edited down from about 40 hours filming, all apparent 'reactions' just coincidental. Anyone eles hear anything about this?