Human Events Online publishes a great commentary on the autopsy by Dr. Sherri Eros who is a blogger. She is appalled by the media’s irresponsible reporting and by the representations made by the Medical Examiners about PVS in light of the disclaimer in the report that PVS cannot be diagnosed by autopsy. To wit:
As Thogmartin and Nelson clearly state in the written Autopsy Report, it is impossible to confirm a diagnosis of PVS postmortem–on the basis of an their own autopsy. As explained above, to say that the autopsy is “consistent with” persistent vegetative state is utterly devoid of meaning because it is just as true that the autopsy is “consistent with” Terri’s having been in a conscious state of one level or another.
Therefore it was extremely misleading, and even medically reprehensible, for either ME to have stated to the press that the autopsy results are either “consistent with” or “not inconsistent with” a PVS diagnosis, without in every instance where the topic of PVS arose, emphasizing and repeatedly cautioning the press in the strongest possible terms that such a statement must not be misinterpreted as lending support to the PVS diagnosis. This caution appears not to have been given at the news conference.
She also corrects me being quoted in WND when I suggested regarding the relative preservation of the frontal and temporal: “What this tells us is that her cortex retained function.” According to Dr. Eros : As noted above, such determinations are entirely outside the scope of postmortem data and can be made only through examination of the living patient.
This is fair and what I should have said is that it the autopsy does not rule out that the cortex retained function. Lesson learned.
This is an article well worth reading.