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Today Media and Scientists Said 'Vegetative Brain Shows Surprising Activity' ? Yet Court Refused Tests for Terri Schiavo

Contact: Robert Schindler, Terri Schiavo’s father, 727-490-7603


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 8 /Christian Newswire/ -- Newspapers and wire services today reported, 'Vegetative' Woman's Brain Shows Surprising Activity -- Tests Indicate Awareness, Imagination.


On the front page of today’s Washington Post, an article by Rob Stein states:


“According to all the tests, the young woman was deep in a ‘vegetative state’ -- completely unresponsive and unaware of her surroundings. But then a team of scientists decided to do an unprecedented experiment, employing sophisticated technology to try to peer behind the veil of her brain injury for any signs of conscious awareness.


“Without any hint that she might have a sense of what was happening, the researchers put the woman in a scanner that detects brain activity and told her that in a few minutes they would say the word "tennis," signaling her to imagine she was serving, volleying and chasing down balls. When they did, the neurologists were shocked to see her brain "light up" exactly as an uninjured person's would. It happened again and again. And the doctors got the same result when they repeatedly cued her to picture herself wandering, room to room, through her own home.


The family of Terri Schindler Schiavo argued in court, pled to the public and the media, and petitioned lawmakers to allow similar tests to be preformed before making the irreversible decision to starve Terri to death.   The pleas of the Schindler family were rebuffed by Judge George Greer, who became the final medical authority in Terri Schiavo’s diagnosis.  The decision was court-ordered starvation.


Terri’s father, Robert Schindler, comments, “This new case is not surprising to our family.  We are seeing a growing amount of evidence indicating that the diagnosis of ‘Persistent Vegetative State’ (PVS) is often misdiagnosed, resulting in dangerous and potentially fatal consequences for people with brain injuries, as documented in this new account of a brain injured woman. The danger of this diagnosis is that it is being used as a reason to kill innocent people with disabilities, like Terri.   We believe that this PVS diagnosis is inhumane and it should be abolished.”