Terri Schiavo Can Still Be Rehabilitated Nobel Prize-Nominated
By Steven Ertelt
contention of Terri Schiavo's estranged husband Michael and courts that have
allowed him to starve her to death, a doctor nominated for the Nobel Prize says
he believes medical therapies are still available that could help Terri partly
recover from her disabled state.
Hammesfahr is an internationally recognized expert on cases of brain-injured
patients. He has been identified in helping patients with chronic brain injuries
from many causes actually leave long term disability, and return to work.
injury, hypoxic encephalopathy, is a type of stroke that he treats every day
"We, and others I
know, have treated many patients worse than Terri and have seen them regain
independence and dignity," Hammesfahr said.
"There are many
approaches that would help Terri Schiavo," Dr. Hammesfahr explained. "I know,
because I had the opportunity to personally examine her, her medical records,
and her X-rays."
"It is time to
help Terri, instead of just warehousing her," he added. "She would have
benefited from treatment years ago, but it is not too late to start now."
This isn't the
first time Hammesfahr has discussed Terri's plight.
Last year, he
explained that, after examining Terri, he believed that she could eventually eat
and drink on her own. He also said he believes Terri would be able to talk and
have good use of one arm and one hand should be given proper rehabilitative
said he thought Terri would eventually be able to transfer herself from a
wheelchair to a bed.
"The patient is
not in a coma," concluded Hammesfahr said after observing Terri. "She responds
to specific people best. She tries to please others by doing activities for
which she gets verbal praise."
He says Terri's
eyes clearly fixate on her family and she tries to follow the simple commands
her parents give her.
"She looks at you,
she can follow commands," Hammesfahr said.
Dr. Hammesfahr was
nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1999.