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Schiavo Was Blind and Unabused, Says Autopsy

Plus: Gloomy predictions for the UCC, Indianapolis Star editorial writers allege religious discrimination, and other stories from online sources around the world.

Schiavo autopsy released
The Piniellas-Pasco Medical Examiner released Terri Schiavo's autopsy report today. The full version is here. Highlights:

  • What caused her collapse 15 years ago is still a mystery. There's no evidence of an eating disorder or of a heart attack.
  • No evidence of trauma, abuse, or harmful substances were discovered.
  • Schiavo died from dehydration, not starvation.
  • She would not have been able to ingest food or water after the tube was removed.
  • Schiavo's brain weight "was approximately half of the expected weight."
  • Schiavo was blind at the time of her death.

This last point is of particular interest, notes the Associated Press, since it "countered a videotape released by the Schindlers of Terri Schiavo in her hospice bed. The video showed Schiavo appearing to turn toward her mother's voice and smile, moaning and laughing. Her head moved up and down and she seemed to follow the progress of a brightly colored Mickey Mouse balloon."

Early response from those who opposed removal of the feeding tube suggests that the autopsy won't change many minds.

"There is no medical condition or disability that should ever be championed as a justifiable reason to deny water to a human being," CWA senior policy director Wendy Wright says in a press release.

Priest for Life's Frank Pavone agrees. "No details of this autopsy change the moral evaluation of what happened to Terri. Her physical injuries and disabilities never made her less of a person. No amount of brain injury ever justifies denying a person proper humane care. That includes food and water."

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Weblog
Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
Previous Weblog Columns:
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