Monday, March 21, 2005

The Guardian's Report and Terri's Bedsores

Several people have e-mailed me, and a couple of bloggers, Bill McCabe and Steve Ely, have been arguing, about an apparent conflict between Jay Wolfson's guardian ad litem report and my National Review Online article.

In his report, Jay Wolfson wrote, as evidence of his belief that Terri had high quality care, that "It is notable that through more than thirteen years after Theresa's collapse, she has never had a bedsore."

Whereas I wrote: "She also developed decubitus (skin) ulcers [bedsores] on her buttocks and thighs... The presence of these easily preventable ulcers is a classic sign of neglect."

These statements would certainly appear to be in conflict. But this conflict is only apparent.

Jay Wolfson issued his report on December 1, 2003. He may very well have been completely accurate in his contention about Terri having had no bedsores up to that point. I will not dispute that.

However, Terri did develop bedsores, and I reported that fact, in March of 2004. This was over three months after Wolfson issued his report. So there is in fact no conflict.

Also, in relation to the larger charge of neglect, I think the evidence for that is substantial, as both my NRO piece and the blog post linked above make clear. For the neglect I do not fault the hospice: I fault Michael, for the hospice acts upon his instructions.