Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Crucial Hearings Today and Tomorrow

On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) will go before Judge Greer regarding their motion for a stay on the removal of Terri's feeding tube pending their investigation of abuse charges against Michael Schiavo. Some have theorized that Judge Greer is legally bound to grant the stay, but what Greer will actually do is anyone's guess.

This afternoon at 3:00, the Schindlers attorney David Gibbs will once again go before Judge Greer, this time to request that further testing be done on Terri to ascertain her real condition. The Schindlers, as well as a number of doctors, have long disputed Judge Greer's ruling that Terri is in a Persistent Vegetative State (PVS).

To back up their request, the Schindlers have affidavits from a number of doctors and other professionals with expertise in diagnosing and treating brain injuries. The Terris Fight website reported last weekend that 17 doctors had come forward to support the call for new testing. However, the Schindlers attorneys inform me that they will have more like 29 affidavits to present to Judge Greer today, some of them from well-respected neurologists.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, neurologists I have spoken to have all registered disbelief and dismay upon learning that Terri has never had MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans of her brain. Most neurolgists regard these tests as standard diagnostic tools for evaluating the extent of brain injuries.

Reading through the doctors' affidavits on the Terri's Fight website, one finds that many of these doctors say the same thing: Terri should be given the MRI and PET scans. They also make mention of the Functional MRI and SPECT tests, which are capable of actually measuring and mapping the function of the brain.

Will Judge Greer actually consider this evidence? Given his track record, one has little cause to be hopeful. But any reasonable person, seeing all of these doctors calling for the same thing, would be inclined to say: "Why not do these tests?" The question for Judge Greer isn't why these tests should be done, but why any reaonable person would refuse to allow them.