Hugh Hewitt today read on his radio program the affidavit of Dr. William Chesire a Board Certified Neurologist. Dr. Chesire examined Terri Schiavo on 1 March 2005. He discloses that to the best of his knowledge he was the first Neurologist to examine Terri Schiavo in nearly three years! He points out that studies have shown that there is a very high rate of false initial diagnosis of Persistent Vegetative State (PVS), and that scientific knowledge in this field has significantly expanded since Terri was diagnosed three years ago.
In particular since that time doctors have become aware of a different diagnosis that should be applied to some patients like Terri called "minimally conscious state". Like many other neurologists he says that a proper diagnosis must include PET or fMRI studies, which have never been done on Terri, apparently because her estranged husband has not permitted these tests to be done. He then goes into great detail why he feels that the original diagnosis of PVS is false.
He concludes "Based on this evidence, I believe that, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, there is a greater likelyhood that Terri is in a minimally conscious state than in a persistent vegetative state. This distinction makes an enormous difference in making ethical decisions on Terri's behalf. If Terri is sufficiently aware of her surroundings that she can feel pleasure and suffer, if she is capable of understanding to some degree how she is being treated, then in my judgement it would be wrong to bring about her death by withdrawing food and water."
"When serious doubts exist as to whether a cognitively impaired person is or is not consiously aware, even if these doubts cannot be conclusively resolved, it is better to err on the side of protecting vulnerable life."
Power Line tonight comments that one reason so many have come to similar conclusions as this Doctor is that we have seen the video tapes of Terri reacting to those around her, and just can't believe she is not alive and at least somewhat aware inside her crippled body. They quote Groucho Marx "Who You Gonna Believe, Me Or Your Lying Eyes?" to explain the reaction of those who will not look at the evidence.
There may be very little hope left for Terri, but please still continue to pray for her, and the judges and politicians who could help if they wished to.