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Wednesday, May 04, 2005


North Country Gazette reprint an article from Dr. James M. Gebel Jr., MD, MS, FAHA .

Dr Gebel is president of the Kentucky and Southern Indiana Stroke Association and physician liaison at Jewish Hospital Emergency Stroke Center in Louisville, KY, has concluded that Terri Schiavo could have been cared for at home with some home health care assistance at modest to at most moderate expense which would not by any common sense standard be deemed economically burdensome.

Speaking on a strictly Medical perspective Dr. Gebel said,
"Since completing medical school, I have over 15 years of experience
training, practicing, and doing research in these areas. I have also had the
opportunity as the result of my training and expertise in these areas to testify
as an expert witness in such matters in medical malpractice and pharmacological
product liability lawsuits. I state the above not to be prideful, but to give
you some tangible appreciation of the fact that, simply speaking, there are few
people in the country with any better training background or practical expertise
to understand in detail the scientific and medical aspects of the care of
patients like Terri Schiavo, whom I deal with on literally an almost daily

“I have reviewed the CT scan images of Terri Schiavo’s brain, watched the
video of her taken by her family members, and also reviewed some summary
comments/ excerpts regarding testimony given in deposition transcripts in her
medical malpractice case. These again are all things I do on a very frequent
basis. They are, to be frank, part of how I make my living. Having clarified the
context in which I share my thoughts with you, I offer the following thoughts on
this matter:

  • Terri Schiavo was NOT in a persistent vegetative state.

  • The parts of Terri Schiavo’s brain which would allow her to perceive pain, here thalami, were clearly intact and visible on her CT scan images shown by her husband...

  • The parts of Terri Schiavo’s brain which would allow her to perform complex cognitive function, or which would enable her to speak or understand speech, were clearly damaged...

  • The parts of Terri Schiavo’s brain which would allow her to swallow on her own were intact and, in fact, she did not suffer from medically significant dysphagia ...

  • The parts of Terri Schiavo’s brain which would allow her to move her arms and hands to feed or hydrate herself were clearly damaged.

  • The parts of Terri Schiavo’s brain which would allow her to experience discomfort and/or pain due to hunger were undamaged.

  • Terri Schiavo did not receive or require intravenous hydration or nutrition (so-called “TPN” or total parenteral nutrition.

Regarding G-Tubes:
  • ".....Such feeding and hydration are by modern medical standards considered as
    ordinary and unburdensome as eating and drinking on one’s own. Such feedings
    are, in fact, less expensive than what an average American spends on food and
    water, and are easily administered a few times a day by a family member,
    requiring much less effort than cooking three meals a day...."

  • Terri Schiavo died of dehydration, not starvation. Dehydration kills one much faster than starvation...

Read the Rest At North Country Gazette