Skip to comments.Biothicist Wesley J. Smith: New Brain Study Has Bearing on Terri Schiavo Case
Posted on 02/04/2010 3:51:42 PM PST by wagglebee
London, England (LifeNews.com) -- Top bioethicist Wesley J. Smith says the new study showing active brain activity in patients who are supposedly in a vegetative state or a minimally conscious state has a bearing on the Terri Schiavo case. He says the judge who allowed her husband to kill her should have ordered similar tests.
The study found that patients in such unconscious states were able to respond mentally to yes and no questions by thinking of different things that activate brain activity in certain areas.
The patients showed they were very aware because they could answer all sorts of personal questions and do so accurately.
Smith recalled the Terri case in reaction to the study and pointed out how "she had been diagnosed as PVS and the courts refused to allow that determination to be shaken during the ordeal."
"Indeed, when it was clear that Terri would be lying in bed for a year pending appeals, the family begged Judge Greer to permit sophisticated brain scanning that had never been used on her before," he recalled. "It couldn't have hurt her, and it might have shown something. But stubbornly, he refused. I will go to my grave believing the judge knew what he didn't want to know."
Smith says both the Schindler family and others who observed Terri said she could "react, particularly, that she could hear and respond to loving talk (as in the famous photo of her smiling broadly as she is greeted by her mother or her opening her eyes wide on request.)"
He said that "thanks to Judge Greers intransigence we will never know what her brain scan would have shown."
Smith says those who point to Terri's autopsy to supposedly show she had no brain activity can't really rule out that she did not have any brain activity.
"The report said her brain was consistent with either a PVS or minimally consciousness, and moreover, that such decisions are clinical, not subject to being decided upon autopsy," he said.
In comments to the New York Times, Nicholas D. Schiff, an associate professor of neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College, said the study should have a significant impact.
This should change the way we think about these patients, he said. I think its going to have very broad implications.
Smith worries that it won't have that kind of impact.
"The bioethics mainstream has rejected the equality/sanctity of human life for the so-called quality of life ethic," he writes today.
"It began with the odious advocacy of Joseph Fletcher in the Hastings Center Report back in 1972, claiming that the inability to communicate meant that one had lost humanhood (now called personhood). Thus today, not only unconscious but conscious patients are dehydrated to death in all fifty states and it is shrugged off as medical ethics," Smith explains.
Ultimately, for Smith: "Conscious or unconscious, people should not have to earn the right to receive basic sustenance. What we did to Terri Schiavo was a blight on the legal system and bioethics. Pretending otherwise won't make that stain go away."
Related web sites:
Wesley J. Smith - http://www.wesleyjsmith.com
Greer ordered TERRI'S MURDER and NOTHING will ever change that fact.
Duplicate thread addressing this subject.
Hello!! I know you can hear me but can’t respond but I have some rather bad news. We’ve decided to pull the plug on you. I know this isn’t the news you’ve been waiting for but that miracle thing ain’t gonna happen for you. We had some good times together but that’s history. Later. Oops, sorry . . . just a habit.
Yes, it was a judicial murder. Her husband did everything possible to kill her, the nursing home aided and assisted him, and the judge then ordered her murdered. I wonder how much he was paid.
No, there are multiple threads discussing the news, there are ALWAYS multiple threads dealing with major news. This IS NOT a duplicate thread.
Her husband worked very hard to get her killed. I suspect because he was the one who put her in the hospital in the first place and he did not want the chance of her ever saying it was him. Greer therefore was also an accomplice to obstruction of justice.
That’s right and we should never forget.
NYer’s thread is much better.
Yes. Terri Schindler WAS murdered, by her ‘husband’ and this ‘judge’—both of whom will someday stand before God for their crimes.
Prayers going up for Terri’s family when they learn of this research—all that pain will be stirred up again. :*(
Greer needs to be held accountable...
Do I remember correctly that there was some scan that they couldn’t do because Schiavo had had experimental surgery on Terri early on and it left some sort of metal device in her brain?
NYer's thread is excellent, so is the one I posted earlier and the two that Steelfish posted. But, as I said, this is major news and there will be multiple threads.
I realize that this may make those FReepers who supported Terri's murder uncomfortable and I am DELIGHTED by that fact, I sincerely hope that they realize how horribly WRONG they have been,
He and the sleazy husband will answer to God
Yep Judge Greer facilated her husband’s desire to kill her. IMHO both are guilty of murder. My neither have a moment of peace in this life nor in the eternal one to come.