Autopsy reveals that Terri Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

An autopsy on the body of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman whose right-to-die case had spurred controversy and nation-wide attention, revealed that her brain was half the size of a normal female adult's, suggesting that the woman was in a vegetative state, just as her husband, Michael, had argued in court and before the press.

Doctors also tell the press that the autopsy revealed that Ms. Schiavo was blind and that her disability was not caused by any sort of abuse.

The Terri Schiavo case, another chapter in court cases over a person's right to die, sparked attention from the international media. The case was caused by a dispute between husband Michael Schiavo and the parents of Terri over whether the disabled Ms. Schiavo, who could not communicate with anyone, desired to die. Courts that examined the case ruled in favor of Michael Schiavo's proposition to remove Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube. The removal of the tube caused the dehydration and eventual death of Ms. Schiavo, doctors say.

The Terri Schiavo Foundation's web site had previously claimed that Terri Schiavo was not in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) and that she was responsive to human emotion. Those statements have since been taken offline.