Monday, March 21, 2005

Johansen and Wolfson

Bill McCabe has responded to my previous post. He cites Dr. Wolfson's summary of doctors' findings of PVS this way,
Three of them (all neurologists) agreed that Terri was in a PVS, and according to Dr. Wolfson "presented strong, academically based, and scientifically supported evidence"
It would seem from Fr. Johansen's article that the two doctors appointed by Michael Schiavo (the third who concurred was court-appointed) were Dr. Ronald Cranford and Dr. Peter Bambikidis. If Fr. Johansen's article is to be believed, both of these men's examinations should be viewed with skepticism and Dr. Cranford with some suspicion generally.

However, Mr. McCabe also points out that Fr. Johansen's claims of neglect by Michael Schiavo conflict with Dr. Wolfson's findings to the contrary. He says there are several statements, but doesn't cite them specifically. The one that I most notice is Fr. Johansen's claim that Terri "developed decubitus (skin) ulcers on her buttocks and thighs," while Dr. Wolfson says "It is notable that through more than thirteen years after Theresa's collapse, she has never had a bedsore."

As the neglect question doesn't pertain directly to the cerebral cortex issue, I have to suppose that Mr. McCabe brought it up to impeach the credibility of Fr. Johansen's article. Which I think is a legitmate consideration--the Wolfson report and the Johansen article seem to be in conflict generally. I'm not ready to cast aside all of the facts and opinions cited in Fr. Johansen's article, but it is difficult to see how one can accept all of both the Wolfson report, with its view not only of Terri Schiavo's condition but of Michael Schiavo's actions and motivations, and the Johansen article.

I still haven't seen a persuasive reason for never doing an MRI, and I don't know of anything to contradict Fr. Johansen's negative characterization of the exams by Drs. Cranford and Bambikidis.

However, Fr. Johansen, who has his own blog, would be more persuasive if he could account for the discrepancy about the bedsores and, ideally, address the general conflict between his and Dr. Wolfson's views of Michael Schiavo's actions and motivations throughout the whole affair.

Update: Fr. Rob Johansen replies here. He cites the three and a half month gap in time between Dr. Wolfson's report and his article to account for the apparent discrepency regarding bedsores. That aside, Dr. Wolfson in his report seems to take a rather positive view of Michael Schiavo's care of Terri in all the time up to his report, and I was under the impression Fr. Johansen alleges neglect to also have taken place before December of 2003. But I could have misread one or the other.


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