Thursday, March 31, 2005

A big prize

Dr. Boyle is a radiologist who also happens to have an excellent blog. He's not happy about what he's heard on the media about the interpretation of Terri Schiavo's CT scans. His central points are:

-- The TV talking head docs pontificating on the CT scans are neurologists, not radiologists...and neurologists don't interpret CT brain scans, radiologists do.

-- He does not believe it is possible to reliably diagnose persistent vegetative state from CT scans.

And he's willing to put his money where his mouth is:

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

To prove my point I am offering $100,000 on a $25,000 wager for ANY neurologist (and $125,000 for any neurologist/bioethicist) involved in Terri Schiavo's case--including all the neurologists reviewed on television and in the newspapers who can accurately single out PVS patients from functioning patients with better than 60% accuracy on CT scans.

I will provide 100 single cuts from 100 different patient's brain CT's. All the neurologist has to do is say which ones represent patients with PVS and which do not.

If the neurologist can be right 6 out of 10 times he wins the $100,000.

I Said What I Meant, And I Meant What I Said

My points are what I first said about the image from Terri Schiavo's CT scan:

1) It is NOT as bad as the neurologists and bioethicists play it up to be; and,

2) There are many elderly patients with various levels of mental functioning who have severe atrophy that is difficult to distinguish from Terri Schiavo's atrophy

I stand by what I said. And I'm putting my money where my mouth is.

First, I can't help but applaud Dr. Boyle's activism here. Whether he's right or wrong, good for him for standing up and so forcefully making his case.

But on a different level, I find this quite troubling. Dr. Boyle is making a credible case (and standing behind it with his personal fortune!) that Terri's 'diagnosis' is even more flawed than I had heretofore believed. Making it even more likely that Terri has (had?) some hope of partial recovery through appropriate (but untried) therapy. And making it even more horrible that the courts have condemned her to die by starvation and dehydration. How could we let this happen in the U.S.? This is a series of actions of the type I'd expect to find in a place like North Korea or Yemen, not here...

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin for the pointer to this story...

No comments:

Post a Comment