Many of you that know me understood that the Terri Schiavo debate really weighed on my mind. Aside from the nasty emails, was the general discomfort caused by asserting an opinion regarding someone else's life/death and being at odds with so many that I respect. It was something that I didn't take lightly, but I believed that my opinion was based on what was best for Terri (not Michael or Terri's parents).
Yesterday I watched the entire press conference at which the Medical Examiner that performed Terri's autopsy explained the results and I felt that weight lift. I am not saying this in an "I told you" sort of way, or in a Michael Jackson-egotistical-vindicated sort of way...but in a reconciling my own feelings way. The “what-ifs” are gone and I can put my conscience to rest.
Findings show that there was no abuse (all trauma was ruled out). Findings show that Terri was indeed in a Pervasive Vegetative State. The doctor said that her brain was a mush of dead neurons that weighed half of what a human brain should weigh and that "no amount of therapy could have helped."
The part that made me sad for Terri's parents was when the doctor reported that "the vision centers of the brain were dead. Terri was blind." This crushes all the Schindler's hopefully ascertains that Terri was looking at them and following that balloon --or maybe it gives them more peace...who knows. The doctor also said that Terri did not die of starvation, but dehydration; and that there was no way that she could have been fed through her mouth as that brain function was dead and she just would have aspirated and died.
I think that no matter what side of the debate we were on we all were hoping that we had Terri's best interest at heart --and we can all feel a bit better knowing that she died with no suffering and no knowledge that she was even alive…