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March 30, 2005

Death doctor contradicts himself

From an article by Dr. Ronald Cranford on the AMA web site:

But the cardinal features that distinguish the vegetative state from other syndromes of lesser brain damage, such as the minimally conscious state, are the absence of sustained visual pursuit (visual tracking) and visual fixation. The eyes do not follow objects or persons, nor do they fixate on these objects or persons. And, when patients do emerge from the vegetative state, almost invariably the first and most reliable sign of improvement is the ability to visually track objects or persons in a consistent, sustained, and reproducible fashion. The question is often asked, what exactly does “consistent, sustained, and reproducible fashion” mean in this context? None of the guidelines in the literature precisely defines these terms, but when the patients do develop sustained visual pursuit, it is usually readily apparent to anyone seeing the patient, families and health care professionals alike, and it is so consistent and reproducible that it is present almost 100 percent of the time during the periods of wakefulness.

Okay, for one thing, only an idiot would demand that anyone must follow an object 100% of the time in order to be considered “conscious”. People get bored, frustrated, annoyed with pin-head doctors who treat them with disgust, contempt or complete indifference.

But the salient point is that the entire nation, the entire world, by now, have seen with their own eyes that Terri Schiavo does track objects with her eyes. But the article goes on to point out the importance of MRI's and PET scans -- both of which Michael Schiavo refused to allow. Cranston, if you'll remember, was one of the doctors that pronounced that Terri Schiavo is in a PVS. Apparently he doesn't even read his own articles.

More on Cranford: Cait's Oz Blog

Posted by Danny Carlton at March 30, 2005 08:48 AM

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Comments

As a nurse with experience in neurosurgery I have done many neuro assessments on brain injured patients. Terri is responsive and follows the simple command to open her eyes quite well on the video clip. In addition there is the testimony of the nurses and nursing assistants who have given direct care to Terri and have seen her responses.
The contention that all Teri's responses are reflexive is absurd!! Terri shows appropriate emotion in response to her family. I think she is very aware.

Posted by: Elizabeth at March 30, 2005 09:58 AM

As a nurse with experience in neurosurgery I have done many neuro assessments on brain injured patients. Terri is responsive and follows the simple command to open her eyes quite well on the video clip. In addition there is the testimony of the nurses and nursing assistants who have given direct care to Terri and have seen her responses.
The contention that all Teri's responses are reflexive is absurd!! Terri shows appropriate emotion in response to her family. I think she is very aware.

Posted by: Elizabeth at March 30, 2005 10:06 AM

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