The final autopsy report is in.
An autopsy on Terri Schiavo backed her husband’s contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding that she had massive and irreversible brain damage and was blind, the medical examiner’s office said Wednesday. It also found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused.
But what caused her collapse 15 years remained a mystery. The autopsy and post-mortem investigation found no proof that she had an eating disorder, as was suspected at the time, Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Jon Thogmartin said.
Autopsy results on the 41-year-old brain-damaged woman were made public Wednesday, more than two months after Schiavo’s death March 31 ended an internationally watched right-to-die battle between her husband and parents that engulfed the courts, Congress and the White House and divided the country.
Thogmartin also said she did not appear to have suffered a heart attack and there was no evidence that she was given harmful drugs or other substances prior to her death.
She died from dehydration, Thogmartin said.
He said she would not have been able to eat or drink if she had been given food by mouth as her parents’ requested.
”Removal of her feeding tube would have resulted in her death whether she was fed or hydrated by mouth or not,” Thogmartin told reporters.
He also said she was blind, because the ”vision centers of her brain were dead.”
Her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, had fought their son-in-law, Michael Schiavo, in court for seven years over her fate.
Thogmartin said that Schiavo’s brain was about half of its expected size when she died 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.
Speaking of blind and brain-dead, I’m sure the next word out of the Religious Reich will be that the removal of the feeding tube was what shrank her brain and blinded her.