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Lying about Terri Schiavo

Nat Hentoff

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The Village Voice - November 10, 2003

I have covered highly visible, dramatic "right to die" cases--including those of Karen Ann Quinlan and Nancy Cruzan--for more than 25 years. Each time, most of the media, mirroring one another, have been shoddy and inaccurate.

The reporting on the fierce battle for the life of 39-year-old Terri Schiavo has been the worst case of this kind of journalistic malpractice I've seen...

The media continually report that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state, and a number of neurologists and bioethicists have more than implied to the press that "persistent" is actually synonymous with "permanent." This is not true, as I shall factually demonstrate in upcoming columns. I will also provide statements from neurologists who say that if Terri were given the proper therapy--denied to her by her husband and guardian after he decided therapy was becoming too expensive despite $750,000 from a malpractice suit--she could learn to eat by herself and become more responsive.

Read the entire article on the Front Page Magazine website.



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