Terri Schiavo’s Brother Lauds Study Showing PVS Patients Have Brain Activity

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 5, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Brother Lauds Study Showing PVS Patients Have Brain Activity

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 5
, 2010

St. Petersburg, FL (LifeNews.com) — The brother of Terri Schiavo, the disabled woman whose husband won authority form a court to take her life, responded positively to a new study showing researchers using a novel technology to establish limited communication with patients in so-called persistent vegetative states.

Bobby Schindler said the new study is bittersweet because it would have been helpful for his sister to receive such a test to show proof that she could communicate with him and his family.

Terri’s former husband Michael Schiavo would not allow her to be tested in a similar way prior to getting a court order to subject her to a 13-day starvation and dehydration death.

"It’s upsetting to me when I see this type of research," Schindler told ABC News. "We were looking to afford these kinds of tests for Terri, but the court did not allow us to perform these kinds of tests."

Schindler told ABC he wonders how many other patients have been subjected to death or a removal of treatment or food and water because they didn’t get this advanced test to show they have brain activity.

"I think it shows that if you just use the conventional bedside-type of exam [to determine consciousness], you can get it wrong," Schindler said.

Schindler also spoke with the Catholic News Agency about the results of the new study.

He said it backs others about the “unscientific, inaccurate” diagnosis of a persistent vegetative state (PVS) and shows how it is “often” wrongly used to diagnose patients like his sister.

“As in the case of my sister, they’re using this diagnosis as a criterion to kill," he said.

He told CNS that families of patients should inquire about the study and the testing: “Why not ask, especially when it is going to end someone’s life?"

“Nobody should have to earn the right to hydration. We should do everything we can to care for these people, regardless of how responsive or unresponsive they are," he continued. “We are morally obligated to care for these people. They should stop any further dehydration deaths, because we’re learning how inaccurate the PVS diagnosis is.”

“We should never come to the conclusion that someone is better off starving to death,” he told CNA.

Schindler also told the news service he wishes doctors and researchers would not put limits on the results of the study but think about patients first — especially his sister.

“If you read these articles, it seems they always have this caveat: ‘let’s not jump to conclusions with Terri Schiavo and say these tests would have proven she wasn’t in the condition the doctors said she was in," Schindler said.

Related webs ites:
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation – https://www.TerrisFight.org

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