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‘Stop dehydration deaths,’ says Terri Schiavo’s brother in response to new brain scan
Catholic News Agency ^ | 2/4/10 | Catholic News Agency

Posted on 02/05/2010 4:01:24 PM PST by wagglebee

St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb 4, 2010 / 08:32 pm (CNA).- Reacting to news of a breakthrough in brain scanning technology, Terri Schiavo's brother Bobby Schindler is calling for a halt to removing hydration from brain-damaged patients who are thought to be in a persistent vegetative state. An “unscientific, inaccurate” diagnosis of unresponsive patients is being used as “a criterion to kill,” Schindler charged.

Schindler was responding to news that researchers from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Liège have used a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map a patient’s brain activity while he was asked to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions.

One patient, a 29-year-old man who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in a traffic accident, was able to communicate by willfully changing his brain activity, a press release from the MRC reports. He correctly answered questions such as “Is your father’s name Alexander?”

Dr. Adrian Owen and his team at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, England were the developers of the technique.

“We were astonished when we saw the results of the patient’s scan and that he was able to correctly answer the questions that were asked by simply changing his thoughts,” Dr. Owen commented. “Not only did these scans tell us that the patient was not in a vegetative state but, more importantly, for the first time in five years, it provided the patient with a way of communicating his thoughts to the outside world.”

Dr. Steven Laureys of the University of Liège, a co-author of the study, said the scans were the only viable method for the patient to communicate since his accident.

“It’s early days, but in the future we hope to develop this technique to allow some patients to express their feelings and thoughts, control their environment and increase their quality of life.”

The three-year study conducted fMRI scans on 23 patients diagnosed as being in a vegetative state. The technology detected signs of awareness in four of the cases, 17 percent of the participants.

The fMRI technique can decipher the brain’s answers to questions in healthy participants with 100 percent accuracy but has previously not been used for a patient who cannot move or speak.

Dr. Martin Monti, another MRC co-author of the study, said the advance could help with clinical questions and would allow patients to say if they are feeling any pain.

The new study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Allan Ropper, a neurologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, wrote an editorial accompanying the study. According to HealthDay News, he said that people are going to have to “grapple” with the meaning of brain scans that show consciousness or residual consciousness.

“It has to do with what you think life is and what is a meaningful life. Those are social, cultural and theological questions,” he said.

He also cautioned against giving false hope to families, noting the small percentage of the responsive patients. All the study’s patients had suffered traumatic brain injuries, not damage from oxygen deprivation.

Speaking of the 29-year-old patient, Monti said “it is still the case that we managed to give him, to a little extent, a voice. In a sense there was a very positive outcome. We managed to interact. This is an extremely exciting thing."

CNA sought comment on the issue from Bobby Schindler of the Terri Schiavo Foundation.

His sister Terri, who was severely brain damaged from oxygen deprivation, was at the center of a 2005 legal dispute in Florida. She was denied nutrition and hydration by court order in a case between her blood relatives and her husband.

Schindler said the study backs other findings about the “unscientific, inaccurate” diagnosis of a persistent vegetative state (PVS) and shows how it is “often” wrong when diagnosing people with severe injuries.

“As in the case of my sister, they’re using this diagnosis as a criterion to kill.”

Schindler said his family had asked a judge for similar testing for Terri but it was denied.

If the technique was easy to conduct and available, he said, it would have given a better understanding of her condition. “Why not ask, especially when it is going to end someone’s life?”

Asked whether the case offers insight into how unresponsive patients should be treated, he replied:

“Nobody should have to earn the right to hydration. We should do everything we can to care for these people, regardless of how responsive or unresponsive they are.”

Schindler lamented that people are being “indoctrinated” to see killing as “an act of compassion.”

“We are morally obligated to care for these people,” Schindler told CNA.

“They should stop any further dehydration deaths, because we’re learning how inaccurate the PVS diagnosis is.”

Discussing the other patients who could not communicate, he said families of unresponsive patients should continue to treat them with “love and compassion.”

But the patient’s condition should never justify removing food, hydration or “basic care,” he stressed.

Schindler also noted that improvements on science are possible and could improve unresponsive patients’ functioning.

“We should never come to the conclusion that someone is better off starving to death,” he told CNA.

He was critical of news reports that claimed the new technology would not have helped Terri Schiavo, saying some stories were written “as if these doctors want to go out of their way to justify Terri’s death.”

“If you read these articles, it seems they always have this caveat: ‘let’s not jump to conclusions with Terri Schiavo and say these tests would have proven she wasn’t in the conditions the doctors said she was in.’”

Schindler told CNA that more doctors were on record saying that Terri could have been helped with some of the technology available. They believed that she wasn’t in a vegetative state.

He also advocated the elimination of the term “vegetative state” from common use, saying it is “dehumanizing” and devalues the person and his or her “inherent moral worth.” In his view, PVS diagnosis should also not be used as a criterion for ending someone’s life because of how often it is wrong.

Schindler said he describes unresponsive patients as “persons with brain injuries.”

“I don’t know why I have to label them as being a vegetable. I think it leads to an existing prejudice against these types of people,” he told CNA.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: euthanasia; moralabsolutes; prolife; terri; terridailies; terrischiavo; whiterose
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To: wagglebee


21 posted on 02/06/2010 6:21:13 PM PST by Dante3
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To: wagglebee

Any chance it could have retro-active legal bearing?

22 posted on 02/06/2010 6:42:23 PM PST by Lesforlife ("For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb . . ." Psalm 139:13)
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To: wagglebee

Thanks for the ping!

23 posted on 02/06/2010 9:40:27 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: wagglebee

Terri’s fight is still going on five years after her planned extermination.

24 posted on 02/08/2010 9:47:14 AM PST by floriduh voter (Charlie Crist, you're sinking in the polls faster than a sinkhole on the interstate.)
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To: Mears

Terri was making major strides until Mikey Schiavo took her rehab funds away and gave them to right to die attorneys. Terri was doing really well. There were Terri Schiavo days in cities where she had been through rehab. Mikey took away everything Terri needed and then the courts took her life for him. (life insurance)

25 posted on 02/08/2010 9:49:30 AM PST by floriduh voter (Charlie Crist, you're sinking in the polls faster than a sinkhole on the interstate.)
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To: Lesforlife
I think the judges may be in more trouble than Mikey Schiavo because the judges are the ones who broke the law.

If a judge breaks guardianship laws by the dozens, why can't he be charged? There is no statute of limitations for murder. Bad judges who do illegal and immoral acts should not get immunity. Maybe someone already set up could start a petition to charge Greer.

26 posted on 02/08/2010 9:51:32 AM PST by floriduh voter (Charlie Crist, you're sinking in the polls faster than a sinkhole on the interstate.)
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To: floriduh voter

I’m in to help with that effort.
Should have alrady been done!
Lord, let the perfect person with
the knowledge of how to do
a recall of a judge step forward.

27 posted on 02/08/2010 11:20:45 AM PST by Lesforlife ("For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb . . ." Psalm 139:13)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
EVERY piece of news since Terri's murder has confirmed that her condition was treatable.

Thread by me.

Wesley J. Smith: The Schindlers Were Right to Insist on Tests for Terri


Full disclosure: I am very close with the Schindler family. (Terri’s siblings and mother. Her father Bob died last year, his health destroyed by grief over what happened to his beloved daughter.) They are as good and decent as people get. I know the lawyer who represented them for most of the case. She’s honest and true. I know Fr. Frank Pavone. Agree or disagree with his strong pro life positions, he has integrity. I have talked with several people who spent a lot of time with Terri Schiavo. All told me 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, as shown in the photo sequence to the left).

But she had been diagnosed as PVS and the courts refused to allow that determination to be shaken during the ordeal. (The family made a mistake by stipulating to it during the original trial. But that was because of costs and a naive disbelief that a court would order a human being to be dehydrated to death.) 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. 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.

Now, a “surprising” new study has found that many supposedly PVS patients have reactive brains. From the story:

Many of the patients were labeled with the same grim diagnosis: “vegetative state.” Their head injuries, teams of specialists had concluded, condemned them to a netherworld — alive yet utterly devoid of any awareness of the world around them. But an international team of scientists decided to try a bold experiment using the latest technology to peek inside the minds of 54 patients to see whether, in fact, they were conscious. One by one, the men and women were placed inside advanced brain scanners as technicians gave them careful instructions: Imagine you are playing tennis. Imagine you are exploring your home, room by room. For most, the scanner showed nothing. But, shockingly, for one, then another, and another, and yet two more, the scans flashed exactly like any healthy conscious person’s would. These patients, the images clearly indicated, were living silently in their bodies, their minds apparently active. One man could even flawlessly answer detailed yes-or-no questions about his life before his trauma by activating different parts of his brain. “It was incredible.”…

“This should change the way we think about these patients,” said Nicholas D. Schiff, an associate professor of neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. “I think it’s going to have very broad implications.”

But it won’t. The bioethics mainstream has rejected the equality/sanctity of humanlife for the so-called quality of life ethic.  It began with the odios advocacy of Joseph Fletcher in the Hasting’s 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.

Back to Terri: As happens every time stories like this come up, the reporter hastened to assure readers that Terri’s case was somehow “different:”

The research inevitably raised questions about patients such as Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman in a persistent vegetative state whose family dispute over whether to discontinue her care ignited a national debate over the right-to-die issue that led to congressional intervention in 2005. Schiavo’s brother, Bobby Schindler, said the new study highlights the limits of medicine to provide an accurate diagnosis. “I wish this could have been used on my sister to see what could have been done to help her,” Schindler said in a telephone interview. But Owen, Schiff and other experts stressed that the research does not indicate that many patients in vegetative states are necessarily aware or have any hope of recovery. Many, like Schiavo, have suffered much greater danger to their brains for far longer than the patients in the study. “In some cases, the damage to the brain is so severe that it is simply inconceivable they could produce any responses,” Owen said.

Perhaps, but thanks to Judge Greer’s intransigence, we will never know what her brain scan would have shown. And don’t bring up the autopsy: 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.

But this is the point. 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.

28 posted on 02/14/2010 10:11:30 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: marcbold; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; ...
This is what happens when life has no value.

Thread by marcbold.

Post-Natal Abortions?!?

Post-natal abortions are a logical extension of the culture of death. Why should birth be a demarcation when conception is not?

Video Link

What kills me is how those supporting euthanasia couch their horrors in terms of mercy.

Radio Free Europe reports:

The Russian mother of a child with a developmental disability wants to sue a journalist who suggested killing babies with genetic diseases. RFERL's Russian Service reports from Moscow.

In late December, Snezhana Mitina received a tearful phone call from her friend Svetlana. Sobbing, Svetlana explained she had just read a newspaper article calling for babies with mental disabilities to be killed at birth...

29 posted on 02/14/2010 10:14:27 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: NYer; Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
These billboards will save live!

Thread by NYer.

Georgia billboard campaign says abortion makes black children an ‘endangered species’

.- A pro-life billboard campaign has caused controversy in Georgia for saying that black children are an “endangered species” because of the disproportionately high abortion rate among African-American women.

The billboards show a close-up of an African-American boy’s worried face. To the left in large print are the words “Black Children are an Endangered Species.”

Georgia Right to Life has sponsored the 65 billboards with the Atlanta-based Radiance Foundation, a group which encourages adoption. According to the New York Times, the two organizations hope to sponsor 80 billboards.

The billboards advertise the web site Using a polished graphic design, the site connects abortion to segregation and claims that racists went “underground” after the civil rights era in American history.

The site charges that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, wanted to reduce the population of blacks.

One of its videos cites one of Sanger’s comments from an essay on birth control: “There is no doubt… that the procreation of this group should be stopped.”

In context, Sanger did not mention race. She openly advocated population control for the “irresponsible and reckless” and those whose “religious scruples” oppose small families. She also attacked this group as largely “diseased,” “feeble-minded” and “of the pauper element.”

Writing on, the Radiance Foundation decried abortion’s impact across society. It explained its particular campaign as an attempt to “dig deeper and focus on abortion in an historical context with real present-day ramifications.”

“This isn’t black vs. white, or a me vs. you. It’s the truth vs the lie. The truth is that abortion kills an innocent human life. It’s easier to speak in euphemisms, but the simple truth is the miracle of life is threatened every day by a false ideology that dupes women into believing their very biology is a threat to them.”

Catherine Davis, the minority outreach coordinator of Georgia Right to Life, said that the African-American abortion rate is so high it has begun to affect black fertility. Her organization said it would support state legislation that makes it a crime for abortion providers to solicit business based on the race or sex of the unborn child.

The New York Times, citing Center for Disease Control (CDC) data, says that the fertility rate among black women remains higher than the national average and has slightly increased in recent years.

However, the abortion rate is in fact significantly higher among African-American women.

In 2006 57.4 percent of the abortions in Georgia were performed on black women, although blacks only make up about 30 percent of the population. CDC figures show that out of 37 states that report abortion data by race, the state of Georgia was behind only New York and Texas in the number of abortions performed on black women. It was behind only Mississippi and Maryland in reporting a higher percentage of abortions going to black women.

Critics of the billboard campaign include Loretta Ross, executive director of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective in Atlanta. The New York Times says she accused the billboards of depicting black women either as monsters intent on destroying their race or as victims of white-controlled abortion clinics.

“The reason we have so many Planned Parenthoods in the black community is because leaders in the black community in the ‘20s and ‘30s went to Margaret Sanger and asked for them,” Ross said. “Controlling our fertility was part of our uplift out of poverty strategy, and it still works.”

Ryan Bomberger, founder of the Radiance Foundation and designer of the billboard, said the campaign does not target black women but “exposes an industry that we believe targets African-Americans.”

30 posted on 02/14/2010 10:17:31 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Ohioan from Florida; Goodgirlinred; Miss Behave; cyn; AlwaysFree; amdgmary; angelwings49; ...
Last Tuesday was the anniversary of Eluana Englaro's murder.

Thread by me.

Vatican official recalls impact of Eluana Englaro's death

Rome, Italy, Feb 10, 2010 / 07:12 pm (CNA).- A year after the death of Eluana Englaro, known as Italy's Terri Schiavo, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life is encouraging Catholics to defend life “from conception to natural death.”

Recalling the case of 38-year-old Englaro, whose feeding tube was removed after being in a coma for 17 years, Archbishop Rino Fisichella told the magazine “Il Sussidiario” that the painful incident “tore our social fabric, especially because the people were not properly informed.”

The Englaro case, he continued, was “a very sad page in our history: a girl who was seriously ill, but alive was deprived of nourishment - she was dehydrated and exposed. Contrary to what was reported, it led to great suffering and death.”

After explaining that the Church should always be prepared for new bioethical challenges, the archbishop referred to the responsibility of the media to provide appropriate information.

“In recent days the media has finally reported on an important scientific discovery: In Belgium, several doctors have shown that brain activity can be observed, even if minimal, in people who are in a 'vegetative state' - a term which I don’t think is correct.” He went on to explain that “vegetative state” is an expression “that does not measure up to the objectivity of the clinical data. It is false and misleading.”

Archbishop Fisichella also said that Catholics have the important task of building greater consensus on issues having their foundation in natural law and that transcend cultural, religious and political differences.

“Catholics should be on the front lines of the defense of life in all of its manifestations, from conception to natural death, aware of the great responsibility they have in defending these principles,” he concluded.

"We will not be silent.
We are your bad conscience.
The White Rose will give you no rest."

31 posted on 02/14/2010 10:23:33 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Justice for “judge” Greer!

32 posted on 02/14/2010 10:26:19 AM PST by Lesforlife ("For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb . . ." Psalm 139:13)
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To: wagglebee
When Teri was being murdered, those surrounding her were the very monsters who saw to it that she was killed. All except the legally blind judge, one Judge Greer. ( Who was never able to see the videos of Teri and NEVER visited her, not once.)

These monsters surrounded Teri's bed and you just knew the excitement reached a fever pitch as her skin broke out in cracks from lack of water and. as she suffered the intense pain of dehydration and starvation, together, in front of these killers.

One of them was in touch with me via email.

I don't know who...I always suspected the head of the hospice nursing home or george felos, the vampire like attorney who loved to hold the hands of those dying, and peer into their faces as death occurred, satisfying some sick desire he had and meeting those desires as a hospice volunteer and board member, previously. (Which is how Teri, who was NEVER TERMINALLY ILL, and did not need hospice captivity, but got it mandated by her monster husband with felos's help, was able to be kept there and had to suffer every visit from her freak of a husband who came and went, while sexing with another woman and living off the money he was supposed to use to keep Teri in the BEST OF CARE.

I got an email before her death was announced from one of those filthy murderers saying 'it is over'.

It chilled me.

I never hear about those filthy killers anymore.

I never hear of felos hovering over another's death bed.

.Or Michael Schiavo prancing around showcasing his killer mentality.

Or Mary the monster head of the hospice where Teri was entombed for so long.

I wonder if they are reaping their just rewards.

And I wonder if Judge Greer is also being to reap the hell he has sowed.

33 posted on 02/14/2010 10:29:28 AM PST by Republic (I love Rush)
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To: wagglebee

In my above post...I did not get an email, I got a freep mail on the thread we had running during years of Teri’s futile fight to stay alive.

34 posted on 02/14/2010 10:34:05 AM PST by Republic (I love Rush)
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To: Republic

Wasn’t Michael harassing some female politician?
And didn’t she have an order of protection placed against him?

I also remember him trying to form some political PAC fund.He fancied himself an “activist”.
That folded in a short time.

35 posted on 02/14/2010 10:36:44 AM PST by Scotswife
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To: Scotswife
Wasn’t Michael harassing some female politician?

And didn’t she have an order of protection placed against him?

I don't know... I sort of dropped out of it I was so devastated by the public killing of Teri. I ached for her mother and father, I don't know how they stood does anyone stand by and watch their own otherwise healthy child be dehydrated and starved to death? I would have gone nuts.

When I learned that that filthy piece of shit, michael schiavo, had even injected HIMSELF onto Teri's tombstone, I just got sick. He was, of course, trying to remind the world that he kept a promise I do not believe for one second he made and neither does any sane individual, imo. My reasoning is based of affidavits of friends of Teri and Michael as well as knowing how michael the monster himself kept her looking good as he went after the money in court ( got the case and deserted Teri within a month afterwards-got the death attorney, etc.). I also believe that Teri was a devout Catholic and believe her parents when they speak of this.

I just decided to get away from it for awhile.

He is a pig. Scum.

And I have no idea what he is doing now but I would put money on the thought that he is no doubt abusing someone right now...he is one sick freak.

36 posted on 02/14/2010 10:50:27 AM PST by Republic (I love Rush)
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To: wagglebee


37 posted on 02/14/2010 1:35:09 PM PST by Dante3
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To: Republic

There were many FReepers who were 100% committed to making sure Terri was murdered, it wouldn’t surprise me if Mikey Schiavo and Felos infiltrated FR.

38 posted on 02/14/2010 1:37:22 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee
This same thought occurred to me.
39 posted on 02/14/2010 1:39:42 PM PST by Dante3
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To: Dante3

I know of one FReeper for certain that was probably more involved in Terri’s murder than people think.

40 posted on 02/14/2010 1:47:50 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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