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Today’s Schiavo Thread

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For the latest information on Terri Schiavo, again I recommend Matt Conigliaro at Abstract Appeal, a Florida lawyer who is updating his blog frequently with the legal decisions and facts of the case.

Here is the entire sad history of Terry Schiavo’s incapacitation.

My opinion is that it’s singularly unwise for the federal government to become involved in what should be a private matter between the families and their doctors. If I seem reluctant to write about this, it’s because I am. I’ve had personal experience of similar situations (which will remain private), and I’m extremely uncomfortable with the idea of passing judgment on any of the people involved in this case—and extremely turned off by the media swarm.

UPDATE at 3/24/05 2:45:46 pm:

Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, president and founder of the American Council on Science and Health, lays out the harsh facts about Terri Schiavo’s condition, to counteract the flood of politically-generated junk science: Is There Really a ‘New Diagnosis’ for Terri Schiavo? (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

While we at American Council on Science and Health have been determined to remain on the sidelines of the raging national debate about the fate of Terri Schiavo (this is largely a legal and ethical issue, not a scientific one), we cannot remain silent about the outrageous misrepresentation of scientific facts about this case that has been occurring in the past ten days.

The medical reality of Ms. Schiavo’s case is this: She has been in what is medically referred to as a “permanent vegetative state” for the past 15 years, ever since her heart temporarily stopped (probably due to the severe effects of an eating disorder), depriving her brain of oxygen. Brain scans indicate that her cerebral cortex ceased functioning — probably just after she experienced cardiac arrest in 1990. Ms. Schiavo’s CAT scan shows massive shrinking of the brain, and her EEG is flat. Physicians confirm that there is no electrical activity coming from her brain. While the family video repeatedly shown on television suggests otherwise, her non-functioning cortex precludes cognition, including any ability to interact or communicate with people or show any signs of awareness. Dozens of experts over the years who have examined Ms. Schiavo agree that there is no hope of her recovering — even though her body, face and eyes (if she is given food and hydration) might continue to move for decades to come.

Those are the harsh facts.

UPDATE at 3/24/05 3:25:15 pm:

In an email, I’ve now been called a Nazi and told that I have a “kill the innocent campaign.”

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Throwing objects such as this are capable of damaging expensive musical equipment and musicians. Any more of this and there will be no more music. -- FZ, Autumn 1981 at Northrup auditorium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After someone threw a plunger on stage about two-thirds of the way through the show, he stopped the band with a wave of his hand speaking in the general direction that the dangerous object was thrown, while holding it in his hand. This did not prove to be an amusing act and Franks mood hardened. - It was, however, an evening of excellent, serious musicianship around the release of 'Shut up and play your guitar'