MCCULLOUGH: Terri's videos – what's missing?
Monday, March 28, 2005
OPINION - If you haven't watched them for yourself then you need to. The compelling videos of Terri Schiavo doing a number of things are some of the most telling pieces of evidence as to whether or not Terri is in fact in a "persistent vegetative state."
For the record, a Nobel Prize nominated medical expert, Dr. William Hammesfahr - whose specialties include advancements in diagnosis and treatment of severe brain injured/damaged people - noted in his official report in the Terri Schiavo case that she is not in a vegetative state. That's his expert medical diagnosis speaking there.
He examined Terri personally for more than 10 hours, examined her medical records and videotapes for more than 300 hours in total. Listen to his explanation of the totality of his examinations that were featured on my show.
Michael Schiavo's "right to die" activist doctor, Dr. Ron Cranford, examined her for only 48 minutes and stated unequivocally that Terri was PVS.
But a number of other doctors have also examined the video that Dr. Cranford produced, and based on the viewing of that tape believe that Terri is not in a "persistent vegetative state."
The Democrats warned us that "no one else" could accurately diagnose Terri to determine whether she was PVS or not, unless they had seen her personally. (Actually, it is rumored that the Democrats who argued to kill Terri on the floor of the U.S. House last week were just miffed that none of them were bright enough to make it through medical school.)
The Republicans in Congress, however, are loaded with doctors. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is in fact highly decorated as one of the nation's finest heart surgeons - thus making the Democrats "doctor envy" understandable when their leading spokesmen were Barney Frank and Robert Wexler.
Dr. Frist, Dr. Weldon and numerous additional medical doctors in Congress, along with Nobel Prize nominated Hammesfahr, and some 33 additional brain specialists from such schools as UCLA, Tulane and LSU, all testified to the fact that Terri has not been in a persistent vegetative state.
Of course, you also have the sworn testimony of not one but several nurses who have said under oath that Terri used to sit with them at the nurses station in the hospice, interact with them, laugh at their jokes and even say hello to other residents and visitors.
But all of this evidence from what is easily much stronger expert testimony than Dr. "Quickie" Cranford, we are told, is not to be believed by Judge Grim Reaper - uh, I mean George Greer.
But then I had this question. I was sitting re-watching the Terri videos again and I kept asking myself, what's missing?
As the father of a son who experienced mild disability, having dated someone in the past whose true love was helping the disabled and having worked with co-workers who have been parents to severely disabled children, I knew from my experience that something was missing in Terri's case.
And when I read Dr. Hammesfahr's report on Terri, it slammed the door shut confirming my hunch.
You see, one of the definitions of someone who is PVS is that they cannot swallow. A "liquified cortex" would prevent someone from being able to swallow the saliva that they produce. Doctors will testify that the average human can produce up to two liters of saliva a day.
You know how it is at homes for disabled children and adults. Many of them regularly have large amounts of saliva dripping all down the front of their shirts. Saliva and centers for people with disabilities go together like a hand in a glove. I have spent many a visit to centers only to leave with one if not several residents' saliva attached to my clothing, sleeves and hands. It just goes with the turf with many who have disabilities. And for people who are "brain dead" or PVS, it should be everywhere.
But with Terri ... it's not. It's missing. It's just not there.
Her chin, lips, corners of her mouth, neck and face are never slimy. How is this possible?
I admit I'm not a Nobel Prize nominated brain-injury expert. Luckily for Terri, Dr. Hammesfahr is. And he testified that she is swallowing, and as such is not PVS, and as such should be allowed to live.
But then again, that wouldn't really fit the Democrats' "culture of death agenda," now would it?
Terri's missing saliva is a simple, but extraordinary, proof of life.
That is unless you're as thickheaded and intelligent as the human "life" forms known as "Quick Draw" Cranford, Robert Wexler, Barney Frank, George Felos, George Greer and that serial adulterer Michael Schiavo.
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