Thursday, March 24, 2005

Schiavo: One More Comment from A Health Lawyer's Perspective

I saw Hugh Hewitt's reference this morning to Dr. William Cheshire. Dr. Cheshire has recently attracted attention by raising troubling medical questions about Terri Schiavo's diagnosis, suggesting that Terri is not really in a persistent vegetative state. Hugh notes:

The New York Times sought out Dr. Ronald Cranford, the University of Minnesota neurologist who examined Terri Schiavo for Judge Greer, and who apparently did not order a MRI or a PET scan of Teri Schiavo as part of his diagnosis --a gap that has stunned other neurologists who have commented on the case. Rather than respond to Dr. Chesire's affidavit, Dr. Cranford lashes out in the predictable fashion of a man of the left: "I have no idea who this Cheshire is," and added: "He has to be bogus, a pro-life fanatic. You'll not find any credible neurologist or neurosurgeon to get involved at this point and say she's not vegetative."

In response, I can say that if Dr. Cranford is quoted accurately here, by making that statement he raises serious concern about his reliability as an expert. For 20 years as a lawyer assisting hospitals in complex medical quality peer review matters involving outside experts, I have worked with some of the finest medical expert reviewers in the world. None of them has ever attacked another expert in the manner Dr. Cranford attacks Dr. Cheshire. Instead, a truly professional expert sticks to the medical facts of a given patient's case. It's what is in the patient's chart that matters. Period.

I am not offended on Dr. Cheshire's behalf; I am simply saying that if I engaged an expert and he responded the way Dr. Cranford has, I'd be thinking about getting another expert because Cranford's credibility would be shot-- at least with me. He is not behaving the way a top-notch expert reviewer does.

I have a Boy Scout camping trip today so blogging will be not only light today, but impossible after a few more minutes. I hope this works out with some semblance of decency and humanity.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am a boy scout and our unit has carried a number of compaigns aiming to improve health. 

Posted by Mcgill

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 5:25:00 AM  

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