Schiavo Autopsy Results Released

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June 15th 12:51pm
Attorney: Parents still don't think daughter was persistent

The attorney for Terri Schiavo's parents says they continue to believe their daughter was not in a persistent vegetative state, despite the results of an autopsy.

David Gibbs says Bob and Mary Schindler plan to discuss the autopsy with other medical experts and may take some unspecified legal action.

The autopsy released today backed up the contention of Terri Schiavo's husband that she was in a persistent vegetative state. It found that she had massive and irreversible brain damage, and that she was blind.

The Schindlers fought their son-in-law in court over their daughter's fate for nearly seven years.

The medical examiner found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused. But what caused her collapse 15 years ago remains
a mystery.

Schiavo died March 31st, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.

June 15th 11:04 a.m.
The Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner says autopsy results show that Terri Schiavo was blind and that no amount of therapy or treatment could've regenerated the massive loss of nerves.

Jon Thogmartin says the autopsy has found no evidence to contradict the diagnosis that Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state after her 1990 collapse. He notes that the autopsy, including 274 external and internal body images, and an exhaustive review of Schiavo's past medical records, police reports and social services agency records produced no conclusion on what triggered the collapse that caused her severe brain damage.

The conclusion backs up her husband's contention that the brain-damaged woman wouldn't have recovered if she was given additional therapy as her parents requested.

June 15th 10:40 a.m.
Terri Schiavo did not suffer any trauma prior to her 1990 collapse -- and her brain was about half of normal size when she died. Those are among the findings of an autopsy.

Medical examiner Jon Thogmartin concluded that there was no evidence of strangulation or other trauma leading to the Florida woman's 1990 collapse. He also said she did not appear to have suffered a heart attack.

Thogmartin told reporters in Largo, Florida, that Schiavo died March 31 of dehydration, not starvation, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.

Testimony in a 1992 civil trial indicated that Schiavo probably was suffering from an eating disorder that led to a severe chemical imbalance and a heart attack. But Thogmartin said today it was unlikely her low potassium level was caused by an eating disorder.

Asked whether the exact cause of her 1990 collapse will ever be known, Thogmartin replied: "I don't know."