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Schiavo Autopsy Results Released

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,159606,00.html (I know how some feel about Fox News but this story has a lot more information than the one carried on CNN )

The brain was 1/2 the normal size. She was blind, and had developed severe osteoperosis. There is no indication of strangulation, a heart attack, or abuse, nor any indication of harmful substances being introduced. They also said there was no chance of recovery or improvement, and introducing nutrition and hydration by mouth following the removal of the feeding tube would not have worked. (They said something more scientific, but I don't recall the exact words. )
post #2 of 28
I wonder how her parents are reacting to this news..........
I'm just glad that the ordeal is over for that woman.
post #3 of 28
I am glad it is over for her. and I am glad that there can be no arguement if she would have recovered.
post #4 of 28
The NY Times reports pretty much the same thing: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/15/na...rtner=homepage
I wonder if her parents will make a statement now? I somehow doubt it.
post #5 of 28
No one ever mentioned blindness before. I hadn't thought of that. Also they probably mean no sign of eating disorder in that her teeth enamel wasn't worn off from a lot of purging.

I wonder if Frist will answer to this, remember he gave a "video diagnosis" that she was actually non vegatative. What a jerk. I still have the mental picutre of Bush coming off the plane for the emergency Senate meeting too.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
The story has been updated with the parents' reaction. Still in denial and wanting to blame someone:

Quote:
The Schindler family's attorney, John Gibbs III, said the report still leaves many questions unanswered.

Gibbs questioned the finding that there was no abuse, and said the window of time where Schiavo was unconscious after her Feb. 25, 1990, collapse is troubling. Gibbs said Schiavo collapsed at 4:30 a.m. but her husband did not call for help until 5:40 a.m. and she did not receive medical attention until 5:52 a.m.

"Those 70 minutes are very, very troubling," Gibbs told reporters Wednesday. "Clearly, when you have a brain that is not getting blood, these are emergency moments and every second is precious. 4:30 to 5:40 is a significant time period."

He said the family plans to discuss the autopsy with other medical experts and may take some unspecified legal action.
I just find it very sad that they can't even mourn their daughter's death and accept what happened to her, and instead have to find conspiracy theories and attempt to find a doctor who will tell them what they want to hear.
post #7 of 28
The Schiavo story hasn't been in the news for awhile, so I haven't had the opportunity to post something I learned about a month ago. A woman who works at my school lost her husband a dozen or so years ago, and he had been in a coma for 3 years before he died. We talked about this one day, and she told me she knew Michael Schiavo personally, as Terri and her husband were in the same nursing home facility. She spoke very highly of Michael, how devoted he was to Terri, how much he obviously loved her, how many hours he spent at her bedside, and what lengths he went to in order to try and get help for her.

The Schindlers need to let their daughter go, and shame on them for destroying their relationship with their son-in-law.
post #8 of 28
wow. Her parents seem obsessive. Overly so. They need to let her go in peace.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
No one ever mentioned blindness before. I hadn't thought of that. Also they probably mean no sign of eating disorder in that her teeth enamel wasn't worn off from a lot of purging.

I wonder if Frist will answer to this, remember he gave a "video diagnosis" that she was actually non vegatative. What a jerk. I still have the mental picutre of Bush coming off the plane for the emergency Senate meeting too.
As I recall, her husband got a lot of money because he claimed she had an eating disorder that Drs. haven't diagnosed. In fact, he claimed her condition was caused by an eating disorder. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
post #10 of 28
You can read the full autopsy report here: http://www.sptimes.com/2005/06/15/schiavoreport.pdf
post #11 of 28
I'm glad that it's over and i hope that everyone involved is
at ease now knowing her husband did not abuse her.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizwithcat
As I recall, her husband got a lot of money because he claimed she had an eating disorder that Drs. haven't diagnosed. In fact, he claimed her condition was caused by an eating disorder. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Not everyone loses tooth enamel from purging...anyway if she was purging we don't know how long she was doing it. I may me wrong on this, but every photo I saw of Terri, made me think she had false teeth. Maybe she did have severe dental problems (due to purging?) and lost her teeth?

I have not read all of the reports, but if they claim there was no evidence of a eating disorder, they may have also been refering to esophogeal errosion, or lack of it.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizwithcat
As I recall, her husband got a lot of money because he claimed she had an eating disorder that Drs. haven't diagnosed. In fact, he claimed her condition was caused by an eating disorder. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Yes, and the money was put into a trust fund to be used for her medical care.

Don't forget part of the story
Tsk, Tsk?

Spotz
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spotz
Yes, and the money was put into a trust fund to be used for her medical care.

Don't forget part of the story
Tsk, Tsk?

Spotz
that money is gone from what I heard. They did use it for her care.
post #15 of 28
I think the whole thing is sad. Her parents need to let go.

The first few years she was in her PVS Michael and her family (when they were still amicable) continued with her dental appointments and care, from what I remember.

In 1991 it was found she had Osteopenia (bone loss). That's consistent with an Eating Disorder, as well as her allegedly addiction to caffeine (the autopsy mentioned her obsessive tea drinking). The autopsy also said it was possible she didn't have an Eating Disorder because the life-saving procedures after her collapse could have caused the Potassium deficiency. I can buy that, except for the fact she was an obsessive tea drinker, was actively still trying to lose weight (after already losing 100 lbs), was was diagnosed with bone loss in 1991 (a year after her collapse, which makes me think it wasn't just her physical state that caused the bone loss - not in that short a time).

We'll never know for sure - but I think every effort to accuse Michael of wrong-doing has been exhausted. I'm not sure there's any other case that's been given so much due-process.
post #16 of 28
Potassium deficiency more or less says it all to me. It's been quite a while, but back in 1990, a friend of ours collapsed. His wife called us to take the kids, and the EMTs were still working on him when we got there - his heart had stopped. He was dieting. He'd drink diet cola all day, and only have a salad or some vegetables in the evening. He came so close to death that time, and the diagnosis was "heart failure due to a potassium deficiency". Wasn't that what Karen Carpenter died of? One of my classmates in high school (anorexic) also died of heart failure.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Potassium deficiency more or less says it all to me. It's been quite a while, but back in 1990, a friend of ours collapsed. His wife called us to take the kids, and the EMTs were still working on him when we got there - his heart had stopped. He was dieting. He'd drink diet cola all day, and only have a salad or some vegetables in the evening. He came so close to death that time, and the diagnosis was "heart failure due to a potassium deficiency". Wasn't that what Karen Carpenter died of? One of my classmates in high school (anorexic) also died of heart failure.
The person who did an autopsy knew of potassium deficiency but still said it's not consistent with an eating disorder. So, unless the guy who did an autopsy is incompetent, she didn't have an eating disorder. She also never had a heart attack, so it's completely unclear why she collapsed.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spotz
Yes, and the money was put into a trust fund to be used for her medical care.

Don't forget part of the story
Tsk, Tsk?

Spotz
Not all of the money. Mr. Schiavo was awarded a large chunk for loss of consortum.

As for the rest of it, awarded for her care, a lot of it was used on Mr. Schiavo's lawyers.
And apparently all of it was falsely awarded, as she didn't have an eating disorder.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizwithcat
The person who did an autopsy knew of potassium deficiency but still said it's not consistent with an eating disorder. So, unless the guy who did an autopsy is incompetent, she didn't have an eating disorder. She also never had a heart attack, so it's completely unclear why she collapsed.
So much time passed between her collapse/coma and her death, that I doubt that any autopsy results can be considered "conclusive".
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
So much time passed between her collapse/coma and her death, that I doubt that any autopsy results can be considered "conclusive".
You seem to accept the part that she wasn't strangled or abused otherwise without question, though.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizwithcat
You seem to accept the part that she wasn't strangled or abused otherwise without question, though.
The initial cause of her collapse may have been something fleeting, and after 10 plus years would be hard to find. However, if she had been subjected to abuse severe enough to send her into a persistant vegetative state signs would *still* be present, such as damage to bones or scarring on tissue, such as her brain. Additionally, strangulation often causes fractures in the small bones at the front of the neck. Fractures aren't always found in strangulation cases but their absence lends more credibility to the supposition she wasn't strangled.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by okeefecl
The initial cause of her collapse may have been something fleeting, and after 10 plus years would be hard to find. However, if she had been subjected to abuse severe enough to send her into a persistant vegetative state signs would *still* be present, such as damage to bones or scarring on tissue, such as her brain. Additionally, strangulation often causes fractures in the small bones at the front of the neck. Fractures aren't always found in strangulation cases but their absence lends more credibility to the supposition she wasn't strangled.
If the person who did the autopsy claims his findings are not consistent with her having an eating disorder, if it was "fleeting", why would he make comments like that? I presume he knows what he is talking about-she had a very healthy heart so she did not have a heart attack, and she did not have an eating disorder.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizwithcat
If the person who did the autopsy claims his findings are not consistent with her having an eating disorder, if it was "fleeting", why would he make comments like that? I presume he knows what he is talking about-she had a very healthy heart so she did not have a heart attack, and she did not have an eating disorder.

I think it's been mentioned before in the thread, but chronic bulimia can cause dental errosion as well as damage to the esophagous and mouth from frequent vomiting. Even with excellent dental coverage at the nursing home her teeth still would have shown damage and she would have had scarring in her esophagous from rips and tears.

Note that autopsy results use phrases such as "consistent with" or "inconsistent with". Because autopsies happen "after the fact" of a death, there is no ultimate way to determine cause of death. However, after a rigorous series of tests a scientifically valid conclusion can be reached. Yes, it is possible she had an eating disorder, but the weight of scientific findings show she didn't.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by okeefecl
chronic bulimia can cause dental errosion as well as damage to the esophagous and mouth from frequent vomiting.
I agree, but keep in mind that vomiting isn't the only way bulimics purge and depending on the frequency of purging, there might not be enough errosion to be able to differentiate erosion from vomiting from erosion due to brushing too hard.

With that said, I agree with what you wrote earlier that I can't see how doing an autopsy 10 years later could rule out an eating disorder.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotsocats
With that said, I agree with what you wrote earlier that I can't see how doing an autopsy 10 years later could rule out an eating disorder.
In the autopsy report (Thanks for posting that link Kellye!), the last 11 pages discuss the conclusions based on the medical reports going back to her collapse through and including the autopsy to see if the autopsy findings could confirm or refute the conclusions reached previously. They did NOT definitely rule out an eating disorder, nor could they find anything that would definitively confirm that she had one. They did, however, state that there was no evidence at any point, from immediately following her collapse to the autopsy, that she was abused or given drugs unauthorized by her doctors.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
No one ever mentioned blindness before. I hadn't thought of that. Also they probably mean no sign of eating disorder in that her teeth enamel wasn't worn off from a lot of purging.

I wonder if Frist will answer to this, remember he gave a "video diagnosis" that she was actually non vegatative. What a jerk. I still have the mental picutre of Bush coming off the plane for the emergency Senate meeting too.

Frist says Schiavo case brought to a close by autopsy report



WASHINGTON Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says the autopsy released yesterday on Terri Schiavo (SHY'-voh) brings a "very sad chapter to a close."

The surgeon had questioned Schiavo's diagnosis during the debate last March on whether to remove her feeding tube. But he told A-B-C this morning the report shows Schiavo had devastating brain damage.

Frist says he never made his own diagnosis in the case. But he did argue there wasn't enough information on the woman's condition to justify removing her feeding tube. Frist helped push through emergency legislation aimed at prolonging Schiavo's life by allowing her case to be reviewed in federal court.

Commenting on C-B-S, Frist says the pathology shows the diagnosis was "exactly right," and he says it's time to move on.

Polls found most Americans opposed federal involvement in the case, and the issue helped contribute to a drop in approval ratings for the Republican-controlled Congress.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

http://www.kwqc.com/Global/story.asp?S=3482578
post #27 of 28
On the possibility of an Eating Disorder

The autopsy was NOT conclusive on the fact she didn't have an Eating Disorder. What it said was that it was possible that her potassium deficiency was a result of the life-saving procedures after she collapse - but it did not conclusively say either way.

The autopsy seemed to rely on the fact that her family and friend didn't seem to know whether she had an Eating Disorder or not. But they all agreed she was obsessed with drinking tea, had lost a LOT of weight (100 lbs), and was still actively trying to lose more. The bone scan in 91 (less than a year after her collaspe) was conclusive that she had bone loss, the start of osteoporosis (osteopenia) which, while consistent with her state, is ALSO consistent with an Eating Disorder (and as I said earlier, while osteopenia/osteoporosis are typical in a bed-ridden patient, I don't know that it typically shows up so early on, assuming they were otherwise healthy when they became comatose, paralized, PVS or otherwise bed-ridden).

Eating Disorders are secretive illnesses. People can suffer for years and hide it from their family and friends. The is a lot of shame associated, and those who suffer often take years to tell anyone of their struggles.

On the Money

In November of 92 the jury in the medical malpractice trial against one of Ms. Schiavo's physicians awards more than one million dollars (coming to the conclusion she had an Eating Disorder that the doctor missed). After attorneys’ fees and other expenses, Michael Schiavo received about $300,000 and about $750,000 was put in a trust fund specifically for Ms. Schiavo’s medical care.

This is when the fight starts... in February of 93 there's a disagreement about Terri's care, and/or a disagreement over money (depending on which side you believe). Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers have a falling-out over the course of therapy for Ms. Schiavo; Michael Schiavo claims that the Schindlers demand that he share the malpractice money with them. They try to remove Michael as Terri's guardian.

And it isn't until 1998 that he petitions the court to have her feeding tube removed.

And right up until I believe 2003, the Shindlers believed and agreed that Terri was in PVS.

Fair

This case was reviewed by multiple courts, went through exhaustive appeals, had one of the most detailed medical reviews of any patient in history, and was litigated for seven years. Read the court papers yourself... all of them. I certainly have. Over and over all of the courts determined that Terri could not recover, that she was in a persistive vegatative state, and that her wishes would have been to not be kept alive artificially. Even the guardian appointed by the governor comments on the level of care Michael made sure Terri was provided over the years, saying it was impecable. CPS investigated (several times over the years) and found no proof of abuse or neglect.

The autopsy concluded there was no proof of neglect or abuse. It was inconclusive on the cause of her collapse. It didn't say she didn't have a heart attack - it said there were no visible signs of a "typical heart attack" or myocardial infarction. Her heart DID show percardial adhesions or pericarditis (which can be indicative of a heart attack). The autopsy left room to believe a cardiac anamoly might be possible, or other drugs that do not show up in a classic hospital screening (and mentioned the possibility of laxatives or diet pills, though the family didn't know that she if she took these things). It questioned the possibility she may not have had an Eating Disorder, but didn't say she did not. It was also clear to say that with so much time passed, and the fact the body heals itself, it would be hard to determine the exact cause of her collapse. It was 100% clear that no injury was present at the time of her initial hospitalization - no fractures or bruising - and that no healing fractures were observed during her initial months of treatment (and would have been had they been present).

And the autopsy was CRYSTAL clear that she had no chance of recovery, was blind, had liquid in place of nearly 1/2 her brain and the remaining tissue so damage and atrophied it could never heal.

Her family needs to let go.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Frist says Schiavo case brought to a close by autopsy report



WASHINGTON Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says the autopsy released yesterday on Terri Schiavo (SHY'-voh) brings a "very sad chapter to a close."

The surgeon had questioned Schiavo's diagnosis during the debate last March on whether to remove her feeding tube. But he told A-B-C this morning the report shows Schiavo had devastating brain damage.

Frist says he never made his own diagnosis in the case. But he did argue there wasn't enough information on the woman's condition to justify removing her feeding tube. Frist helped push through emergency legislation aimed at prolonging Schiavo's life by allowing her case to be reviewed in federal court.

Commenting on C-B-S, Frist says the pathology shows the diagnosis was "exactly right," and he says it's time to move on.

Polls found most Americans opposed federal involvement in the case, and the issue helped contribute to a drop in approval ratings for the Republican-controlled Congress.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

http://www.kwqc.com/Global/story.asp?S=3482578
Here's a WP editorial on the subject of Frist and his "diagnosis":
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...061601375.html
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