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June 17, 2005
Who's bending the facts EJ?
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics

Washington Post blow hard E. J. Dionne opines about 'fact bending' by conservatives opposing the murder of Terri Schiavo and asks for apologies in the light of the 'facts' of her autopsy.

Of course, Dionne hasn't read the autopsy report himself - he's just repeating the spin - and he's taking Bill Frist to task for 'fact bending' by bending the facts himself.

In typical double standard speak, Dionne decries innuendo, and then proceeds to innuendo up a storm:

"As I understand it," Frist said on the Senate floor, "Terri's husband will not divorce Terri and will not allow her parents to take care of her. Terri's husband, who I have not met, does have a girlfriend he lives with and they have children of their own." No accusation here, just a brisk walk through innuendo city.

Hey EJ - He wouldn't divorce Terri. Fact. He wouldn't allow Terri's parents to care for her. Fact. He does have a girlfriend. Fact. They do have children together. Fact.

But, despite the official finding by the Neuropathologist: "Neuropathologic examination alone of the decedent's brain - or any brain, for that matter - cannot prove or disprove a diagnosis of persistent vegetative state or minimally conscious state." (Page 9, Neuropathoogist Stephen J. Nelson, In re: Theresa Marie ("Terri") SCHIAVO, deceased Your Medical Examiner Case No. 5050439), Dionne attacks Frist for questioning, prior to an autopsy, whether Terri was in a persistent vegetative state - and calls him a quack for good measure. Facts? No, innuendo city. Despite the findings, Dionne derides opinions by Frist and DeLay that Terri demonstrated evidence of minimal consciousness (which is on equal footing with PVS in the autopsy finding) by calling them dishonest ignoramuses. Fact? No, just more innuendo.

Of course, if Dionne had actually read the autopsy, he might be asking why the architecture of Terri's brain was remarkably intact - that specifically the cortex and thalamas were, though damaged, extant - instead of the 'mush' the PVS proponents had been hoping for. He might have asked, why with all the references to the literature on PVS in the autopsy report, there was almost no discussion of correlating evidence in the examination of Terri's brain.

He might have asked why the centerpiece of the neuropathological analysis was the weight of a severely dehydrated brain.

He might have asked why a defense against conducting an MRI while Terri was still alive was presented in an autopsy report. (Uh, EJ, to explain this clearly to you - Isn't it strange that in an autopsy report there is an editorial paragraph that basically says: "It was correct not to conduct an MRI on Terri while she was still alive because of the therapeutic implant she had in her thalamus. We were out to kill her - not to hurt her." For what purpose was this paragraph produced? Is it, in effect, an apology? An apology to radiologists and neuropathologists that will look at the autopsy evidence and exclaim "Oh, my God, we just purposefully killed a woman who had a remarkably intact cerebral cortex and thalamus" - the "centers of consciousness".)

Now, those are some innuenda worth examining. Don't you think EJ?

EJ?

He's not answering. After his expectorant explication, he must be enjoying some time on the respirator.



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