Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Doctoring with Doctor Tom

"I don't think you have to examine her. All you have to do is look at her on TV. Any doctor with any conscience can look at her and know that she does not have a terminal disease and know that she has some function."
-- U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), commenting on the Teri Schiavo case in The New York Times.

That's Oklahoma's pride and joy, physician-turned-lawmaker Tom Coburn, proving just how easy it is to diagnose patients by watching television from the privacy of your own home. Try it yourself, it's a gas!

For instance, nowadays you don't even need a medical license to diagnose a United States Senator suffering from sheer idiocy ...


At 10:35 AM, Blogger CGHill said...

While I'm firmly in the feed-Terri camp, half-baked stuff like this from Coburn doesn't help matters. For all we know, he still could be looking for lesbians in the lavatories.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Chase McInerney said...

Chaz -

I understand where you are on the Schiavo controversy, but I sure do agree that Coburn's remarks don't illuminate a heck of a lot ... except, of course, that it's a good thing he isn't practicing medicine in the Oklahoma City area ...

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Dr. Coburn. What he was likely speaking of is whether Schiavo was in a "persistent vegetative state." This is what the standard of review is in Florida. I am disturbed by certain aspects of the Schiavo case. She is not, from what I can observe from television and web sites, in a "persistent vegetative state" as the media commonly reports. This is what Dr. Coburn was likely referring. Any layperson can tell that she is not. It does not even take a doctor. As argued by up by opponents of her being permitted to die--Florida law defines "PVS" as a:

permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is:
(a) The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind.
(b) An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.

To meet the definition, there mustn't be voluntary action or cognitive behavior "of any kind". But after watching certain videos of Terri, it is undeniable that she is showing at least a minimal amount of both cognitive behavior and voluntary action. She repeatedly draws her face away in irritation at a cotton swab. Her eyes follow, albeit with difficulty, a balloon held over her head by a doctor. The issue is not whether her brain is fully functional. The issue is whether she shows cognitive behavior "of any kind". I don't believe she meets the legal definition of being in a persistent vegetative state.

Why can Dr. Coburn not make a similar determination from watching videos. Physicians make diagnosis every day without seeing patients. They can do so based upon videos, medical records, and patient histories.

At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Hortense Scabbard said...

Holy Buddy Hackett on a Santeria candle -- what a spectacular development! Now, I won't have to go in for that colonoscopy. I'll just have my sonny boy stick his camcorder down my pants and we'll send it to Drs. Coburn and Frist.

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


And your damn right I'm posting it as
anonymous. The last thing I need is some right wing Christians, lovers of all, harrassing me.

I really hope everyone would be this interested if she was
1. black and old
2. chinese and old
3. an old chinese/black man
4. someone who wasn't white

Give me a break.

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last post was amusing but this is a very important issue. Congress, stepping in to make one law for one woman, which is most likely unconstitutional, should scare the bejesus out of everybody, including right wingers and Christians. I mean what is this world coming to? Thank God the 11th Circuit firmly bitch slapped Congress. Let's hope the Supremes do the same.

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think you're going to dismiss me
by saying I'm amusing?

Well I'm finding it a little bit amusing and odd that
conservative religious types don't want a woman to listen to her husband all of a sudden
since that's what the Bible wants them to do. Or is this another one of those
times when the Bible is twisted to mean whatever we want it to mean when we want it to mean something whenever we want it to? You think doctor's in Oklahoma City are great?

At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't dismissing you and it was an amusing post although I don't think it would matter what her ethnicity was, the pro-lifers would jump all over Saddam himself if they thought it was an end run around Roe v. Wade. And by the way, he was MY gynecologist too!!! Up and killed his wife right before I got pregnant. Bastard.


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