Thursday, June 16, 2005

I hope Terri Schiavo rests in peace.

Well the autopsy reports are out about Terri Schiavo and it turns out that the medical consensus she was in a PVS was right. Of course this doesn't really come as a surprise to me, as I never suspected any conspiracy and felt that the media attention on the families involved was the worst part. What a way to die in the midst of a media circus. I hope that doesn't occur to me. In any event, while I saw little point for the autopsy at least it has answered many questions. One interesting revelation is that it turns out she was technically blind, even though she appeared to be able to see people in the room. Neurotopia comes to the rescue with a good explanation:

Your eyes are free to be controlled by your brainstem's SC, meaning that when somebody enters the room, you'll look at them. (I know, it's creepy.) In fact, the brain is wired with all sorts of redundant, partially overlapping control mechanisms for virtually every type of stimulus, explaining why Terri would respond to sounds or touch in a jumpy fashion, as if surprised; her inhibitions were removed when her higher processing centers died, and all that was left were brainstem and spinal reflexes.

In the end, I have no idea why people disputed the consensus agreement of multiple neurosurgens who all personally examined her. Their complete agreement should have been enough to avoid ever having to bother with cutting up her brain to begin with. The only neurosurgen to my knowledge that concluded otherwise never personally examined her, merely 45 minutes of video tape from her parents (hand picked from hours of footage of course).

At least this puts all the conspiracy crap and such forth to rest.