- -03-22-05 Terri Shiavo Poll: No Role for Government (ABC News)
"Americans broadly and strongly disapprove of federal intervention in the Terri Schiavo case, with sizable majorities saying Congress is overstepping its bounds for political gain."
"That legislative action is distinctly unpopular: Not only do 60 percent oppose it, more — 70 percent — call it inappropriate for Congress to get involved in this way. And by a lopsided 67 percent-19 percent, most think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved."
"This ABC News poll also finds that the Schiavo case has prompted an enormous level of personal discussion: Half of Americans say that as a direct result of hearing about this case, they've spoken with friends or family members about what they'd want done if they were in a similar condition. Nearly eight in 10 would not want to be kept alive." 03-05
- -03-22-05 Terri Shiavo: "Vegetative State" Defined by Neurologists (ABC News)
"Doctors have determined that Schiavo is in a persistently vegetative state. Bernat explains this is when 'you have wakefulness, your eyes are open, but you are unaware. It can appear as if you are aware, but it's a state of unconsciousness.' "
"How can a patient be awake but unaware? Bernat says extensive damage to key parts of the brain — namely, the cerebral cortex, the thalamus and/or connections between them — can strip a person of his or her sense of awareness, while an undamaged brain stem keeps automatic activities, such as breathing, sleep and wake cycles and eye movement, going."
"Ronald Cranford, a neurology professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School who has examined Schiavo, says there are a number of signs showing that her cerebral cortex has severe damage from the six-minute period in 1990 when her heart stopped and her brain was without oxygen. He said electroencephalograms, also known as EEGs or brain wave tests, of Schiavo's brain have revealed no activity. He has also reported that areas of her brain have shown shrinkage — a sign of irreversible damage."
"David Gibbs, the attorney for Schiavo's parents, who wish to keep her on life support, has argued that Schiavo may be in a semiconscious state known as a minimally conscious state. This state of consciousness was first defined in 1996 as a transitional state indicating either improvement in consciousness or deterioration in the level of consciousness."
"An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 Americans have been diagnosed with being in this transitional state and some patients have emerged from the condition to reach a fuller consciousness. But neurologists are quick to point out that there are important distinctions between those in a semiconscious state and those in a persistently vegetative state."
" 'The difference is between autonomic activity and episodic conscious activity,' said Fins. 'It's something that can be observed by a neurologist or detected on a brain scan. It's not a diagnosis that legislators can make after viewing videotapes.' " 03-05.
- -03-22-05 Terri Shiavo: Judge Refuses to Order Tube Reinstated (Bloomberg.com)
"Nineteen Florida judges have heard the case over the last seven years and all sided with Michael Schiavo. The U.S. Supreme Court refused last week to hear an appeal filed by Terri Schiavo's parents and one filed by the House Committee on Government Reform. When those failed, Congress returned to Washington from recess and Bush came back from vacation to pass and sign the new law in the early morning hours yesterday."
" The Schindlers 'offer no authority' that the state court judge who ordered the feeding tube's removal 'compromised the fairness of the proceeding or the impartiality of the court by following Florida law,' [Judge] Whittemore wrote. 'Even under these difficult and time strained circumstances, however, and not withstanding Congress's expressed interest in the welfare of Theresa Schiavo, this court is constrained to apply the law to the issues before it.' " 03-05
- -03-22-05 Terri Shiavo: Republican Talking Points (ABC News)
"The following memo listing talking points on the Terri Schiavo case was circulated among Republican senators on the floor of the Senate." 03-05
- -03-23-05 Terri Shiavo: Conservatives Oppose Intervention by Government (Bloomberg.com)
"More than two-thirds of people who describe themselves as evangelicals and conservatives disapprove of the intervention by Congress and President Bush in the case of the Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman at the center of a national debate."
"A CBS News poll found that four of five people polled opposed federal intervention, with levels of disapproval among key groups supporting the GOP almost that high." 03-05
- -03-23-05 Terri Shiavo: Legal Options Dwindle (BBC News)
"In a 10-2 decision, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals has refused the family's request for a full hearing of all 12 judges to review an earlier appellate court ruling."
"In that earlier ruling, a three-member panel from the 11th Circuit upheld a lower court ruling not to force the re-insertion of a feeding tube." 03-05
- -03-25-05 Right- to-Die Issues Highlight Brain Mysteries (Nature.com)
"Although doctors have formal criteria for diagnosing PVS and MCS, they know very little about how the brains of such patients work. It is only in the past few years, for example, that researchers have begun to scan the brains of those suffering these conditions." 03-05
- -03-26-05 Recovery Impossible, Experts Agree (MSNBC News)
"Terri Schiavo, at the center of an emotional and political storm over whether she should be allowed to die, will almost certainly never recover from her unconscious condition, neurologists agree."
"She is in a permanent vegetative state, and no one has ever come back from such a condition, according to the American Academy of Neurology.
" 'To the families and loved ones, and to inexperienced health care professionals, PVS patients often look fairly "normal," ' Cranford said in a statement."
"Such patients can even squeeze a hand in response to a caress, Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago says in guidance posted on its Internet Web site."
“ 'Sadly, these actions often appear meaningful to hopeful families but are all automatic reflexes -- not movements with a purpose,' it reads."
"This is because in such patients, the cerebral cortex has been destroyed, said Dr. Lawrence Schneiderman, a physician and bioethicist at the University of California, San Diego." 03-05
- -06-22-05 Terri Shiavo Buried (MSNBC News)
"Michael Schiavo had said her ashes would be buried at a family plot in Pennsylvania. But on Monday his attorney, George Felos, said in a statement that the service and burial had taken place at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater." 06-05