I’m Not A Doctor, But…

From Holden:

I believe the Congressional Quacks who deigned to diagnose Terri Schiavo after viewing portions of a four-year-old videotape on teevee should have there licenses revoked. Others may not feel as strongly as I do, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t critical of Drs. Frist, Weldon and Gingrey.

“I question it based on a review of the video footage … And that footage, to me, depicted something very different than persistent vegetative state,” Frist said last Thursday, explaining he had also spoken to members of Schiavo’s family and neurologists who reviewed her case.


“By my medical definition, she was not in a vegetative state based on my review of the videos, my talking to the family, and my discussing the case with one of the neurologists who examined her,” [Rep. Dave Weldon] said Sunday, adding that he tried unsuccessfully to visit Schiavo in person.

And [Georgia Rep. Phil] Gingrey, who had an obstetrics and gynecology practice, contended Schiavo “responds to the people around her.”

“The tragedy of this situation is that with proper treatment, now denied, Terri’s condition can improve,” he said Sunday.


“It’s disturbing that doctors who would never venture a comment about the health of anybody from a homemade video are sitting on the floor of Congress making declarations,” said Art Caplan, chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine. “My own impression, from a distance, is that they’ve subverted what they know to be good medicine for the aim of achieving a political goal.”


Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who practiced internal medicine, called Republicans’ efforts to pass the bill “grandstanding” and criticized the majority leader’s comments.

“For Senator Frist to say he could make a diagnosis based on the videotape certainly is not medically sound,” Dean said. “I would not want my doctor making any diagnosis of me on videotape, and I’m speaking as a doctor.”