Nobel Prize nominee says therapies available for Terri Schiavo

There are Clearly Medical Therapies Available to Help Terri Schiavo says Clearwater Physician
“We and others I know have treated many patients worse than Terri, and have seen them regain independence and dignity.” — Dr. William Hammesfahr

Contact: Dr. William Hammesfahr, 727-461-4464

CLEARWATER, Fl., March 4 /Christian Wire Service/ — Dr. William Hammesfahr, nominated for a Nobel Prize for his work in Medicine, has been recognized by agents for Medicare, the federal government, and others for new approaches to helping the brain injured.

Dr. Hammesfahr has been identified in helping patients with chronic brain injuries from many causes actually leave long term disability, and return to work. Dr. Hammesfahr, was identified by Judge Susan Kirkland, for the State of Florida Department of Health, in her judicial ruling in which, for the State of Florida, Department of Health, found that he was “the first physician to restore deficits caused by stroke.”

Terri Schiavo’s injury, hypoxic encephalopathy, is a type of stroke that he treats every day with success. Today, Dr. Hammesfahr made the following statement regarding Terri Schindler Schiavo:

“There are many approaches that would help Terri Schiavo. 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. She would have benefited from treatment years ago, but it is not to late to start now.”– Dr. William Hammesfahr

For further comment, Dr. William Hammesfahr may be reached at 727-461-4464, www.hni-online.com

Comments

  1. Justin Shroyer says:

    Taken from Wikipedia.org, subject: Nobel Prize

    “…Nobel Prize nominees are not publicly announced and they are not supposed to be told that they were ever considered for the prize. The records are sealed for 50 years. This is done to avoid turning the awarding of the prize into a popularity contest. Due to this secrecy it is questionable whenever someone uses a Nobel nomination as a qualification (how could you check it?).”

    He was not a Nobel Prize nominee. If he was he wouldn’t even have been able to know about it for 50 years. The doctor’s credibility has just dropped to zero.

  2. Well, so they say. The reality is that these names are leaked all the time.

    In any case, his nine hours of examining Terri compared to the forty-five minutes of Dr. Crandall (whose analysis is the only one Judge Greer accepted), along with the Mayo Clinic neurologist who concludes Crandall’s PVS designation is a misdiagnosis, ought to dampen the eargerness to kill her, don’t you think?

  3. Jim Holman says:

    This is the kind of propaganda that I find remarkable, having been discredited long before.

    The court already considered Dr. Hammesfahr’s therapy and found no reason to believe that it would be effective:

    Quoting now from that obscure document that no one ever bothers to read, here is the actual language of the court order, a large paragraph of which I have broken up for easier reading:

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

    “Dr. Hammesfahr feels his vasodilatation therapy will have a positive affect on Terry Schiavo. Drs. Greer, Bambakidis and Cranford do not feel it will have such an affect. It is clear that this therapy is not recognized in the medical community.”

    Note: not recognized in the medical community.

    “Dr. Hammesfahr operates his clinic on a cash basis in advance which made the discussion regarding Medicare eligibility quite irrelevant. A lot of the time also was spent regarding his nominations for a Nobel Prize. While he certainly is a self-promoter and should have had for the court’s review a copy of the letter from the Nobel committee in Stockholm, Sweden, the truth of the matter is that he is probably the only person involved in these proceedings who had a United States Congressman recommend him for such an award. Whether the committee “accepted” the nomination, “received” the nomination or whatever, it is not that significant.

    Note: a continual repetition of the Nobel Prize story, but without any documentation or significance for the case.

    “What is significant, however, and what undermines his creditability is that he did not present to this court any evidence other than his generalized statements as to the efficacy of his therapy on brain damaged individuals like Terry Schiavo.”

    Note: the court looked for evidence, but none was presented.

    “He testified that he has treated about 50 patients in the same or worse condition than Terry Schiavo since 1994 but he offered no names, no case studies, no videos and no tests results to support his claim that he had success in all but one of them.”

    Note: no clinical documentation for the court to review. Just his say-so.

    “If his therapy is as effective as he would lead this court to believe, it is inconceivable that he would not produce clinical results of these patients he has treated. And surely the medical literature would be replete with this new, now patented, procedure. Yet, he has only published one article and that was in 1995 involving some 63 patients, 60% of whom were suffering from whiplash. None of these patients were in a persistent vegetative state and all were conversant.”

    Note: therapy not even used in PVS patients.

    “Even he acknowledges that he is aware of no article or study that shows vasodilatation therapy to be an effective treatment for persistent vegetative state patients. The court can only assume that such substantiations are not available, not just catalogued in such a way that they can not be readily identified as he testified.”

    – - – - – - – - – -

    Fr. Hans: ” . . . whose analysis is the only one Judge Greer accepted.”

    Not the case AT ALL. Again, look at the actual court order:

    “Perhaps the most compelling testimony was that of Dr. Bambakidis who explained to the court the agony and soul-searching which he underwent to arrive at his opinion that Terry Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state. He concluded that all the data as a whole supports permanent vegetative state. While the others may have gone through such an analysis, their testimony does not indicate that.”

    Dr. Bambakidis was the independent physician. So Dr. Cranford’s analysis was not definitive, nor was it the most persuasive.

    Normally I would provide the URL link to the court order, but having provided it ten or twenty times the last few months it is obvious to me that no one ever reads the actual document. So I’ll save the electrons and not post it this time. In the rare and miraculous event that someone wants the link rather than relying on propaganda, let me know and I’ll post it.

    Fr. Hans: ” . . . along with the Mayo Clinic neurologist who concludes Crandall’s PVS designation is a misdiagnosis . . . ”

    This is Dr. William Cheshire. If you look at the neurological services provided by the Mayo clinic they do not include a focus on brain injury. Also, when I first heard about this my first question was concerning this guy’s religious affiliation. In regard to this case I have come to see conservative religious affiliation as a kind of conflict of interest. Not surprisingly, Dr. Cheshire is a graduate of Trinity International University’s medical ethics program, where he is also an adjunct professor. Trinity’s core value is “to model and to engender Christ centeredness in all that we do. The lordship of Christ should affect and be evident in every aspect of education, relationship, and endeavor at Trinity.” Now I’m not saying that his religious affiliation automatically undermines his opinion. But given what has happened in this case so far and the amount of disinformation propagated by religious people, a conservative religious affiliation does not inspire much confidence in his opinion.

  4. Bambakidis is also a euthanasia advocate (a “pull the tuber” to quote Noonan), who has an association with George Felos. Be assured he has a bias towards death. Both are fallens sons of the Greek Orthodox Church, BTW.

    Your mention of Dr. Cheshire’s religious affiliation is instructive, although I am sure it was unintended on your part. You seem to be recognizing that the case involves not only legal wrangling, but touches on profound moral questions that will shape and inform the culture for years to come. Maybe we can dispense with the fiction that culture of death advocates don’t draw from a moral vision of their own.

  5. “As we enter into Holy Week and we proclaim that death is not triumphant and that with the power of resurrection and the glory of Easter we have the triumph of Christ over death, why is death presented as an unmitigated evil? It doesn?t fit Christian context. Is it not erroneous to state that life is an absolute good and that death is an absolute evil? We believe that life was created and is a good, but a limited good. Therefore the obligation to sustain it is a limited one.” (paraphrase of Jesuit Rev. John J Paris)

    I have wondered whether the tendency to cling to life under any and all circumstances doesn’t contradict the Christian faith in a life beyond this one. As technology advances and we can keep people “alive” in some fashion with tubes, machines, wires and such, are also morally obliged to do so for ten, fiften, twenty years?

  6. By that logic, Christ’s triumph over death is a limited triumph. Perhaps he could have avoided the cross entirely, choosing perhaps to drink hemlock after a big party with his disciples, a la Socrates. No need for all that dreadful blood and suffering! Oh dear, it seems that those headstrong writers of the Gospels and that horrid St. Paul got it wrong again…

    No surprise that Fr. Paris is a Jesuit, since many modern Jesuits (not all) champion secular ideas over the Gospel and the Church’s traditional teachings.

  7. JamesK, your second point is of course a valid one. But I suggest you beware of those who water down the wine of the Gospel.

  8. JamesK,

    You ask really good questions. I would address them by taking a look at Orthodox Anthropology. The soul is created at the moment of conception, and joined to the new body. A human person is ontologically soul and flesh, the two are joined by God for all eternity. It is the divine plan that we live as both flesh and spirit. Prior to the fall, both body and soul were eternal. As a consequence of the Fall, the body has a limited lifespan. We will all face a separation of our souls from our bodies. This is unnatural for man, however. We were not made for death, but for life.

    The soul is created to be housed inside a body, and therefore, clings to it. A soul outside of its body is not a whole person. There is much evidence from Orthodox tradition that a soul emerging from its body experiences a profound separation.

    In Christ, we have the hope of the resurrection. We will not be saved from the body, as Kallistos Ware has said, but rather in the body. After the resurrection, the divine plan will be restored and humans will live out eternity in a new body that has been perfected.

    Death is a bad thing. It is a foreign and alien thing. Because we are Christians we do not fear the sting of death, but as we were meant to live as both body and soul joined together, we do not court death either. I would prefer to await the Second Coming in the flesh, and never experience the separation of my soul from its natural home.

    Death is, of course, not the worst thing. Apostasy is worse, which is why martyrdom is so highly prized. Being faithful unto death is better than living a life separated from Christ and his church. There are other situations in which death would be superior to continued life, but we must carefully examine them in light of the sanctity of life as God’s plan for humanity.

    You asked how long we are to keep people alive by artificial means? Each situation is different, but Orthodox ethicists have adopted a rule of thumb that food and water are not extreme measures, but rather reasonable care. The Roman Church concurs. If the only thing necessary to sustain biological life is ordinary care such as food and water, then we have a duty to provide just that care.

    In the case of ventilators, brain death, heart/lung machines, etc., the situation is different. Patients on a ventilator can not breathe on their own. They are literally being kept alive by a machine. (A feeding tube is not a machine. It is a method of feeding, such as a bottle, spoon, or even a mother’s breast.) A patient on a ventilator is terminal. Shutting off the machine allows nature to take its course very quickly, and may be the preferable course of action arrived upon after due pastoral counseling and prayer.

    Terri Schiavo is not terminally ill. She will live as long as she is fed and given water. Denying her food and water will kill her, but this is not letting nature take its course. The natural thing to do for a hungry person is to feed her and give her water.

    Terri’s brain is severely injured, but she is alive and her soul can reside in its natural home which is her body. She is not in pain, nor is she suffering. No one has claimed that.

    I believe that it is better to allow her soul to remain where it is, living in the hope of the Resurrection in Christ and the future restoration of her health and well-being. I seem to be in good company in that feeling among Christian ethicists, priests, and Theologians.

  9. Mark Getty says:

    Dr William Hammesfahr HAS NOT BEEN NOMINATED FOR A NOBEL PRIZE, EVER. There is no record in Sweden, Finland, Norway or anywhere in Medical circles of this so-called
    nomination.

    He is, I’m sorry to say, a fraud, by perpetuating this self-promotion.
    The Getty Foundation and other organizations which embrace honest and giving
    individuals for their service to humanity, is ashamed to have any connection to this person.

    Mark Getty

  10. David Helson says:
  11. Jim Holman says:

    David Helson writes: “Dr Hammesfahr was nominated for a Nobel Prize by not just any congressman, but rather the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health and Environment in the House of Representatives.”

    Whether Dr. Hammesfahr was nominated for the Nobel Prize is of interest only to Dr. Hammesfahr. It has absolutely no bearing on the Schiavo case.

    David: “Her putative brain scan has been reviewed by a fulltime radiologist with fifteen years experience in the field, and he comes up with a refutation to the amateur scan readers who endlessly repeat the liquefied brain meme ad nauseum without knowing what they are talking about.”

    This is why the diagnosis of PVS is not based on a CAT scan alone.

    David: “Cranford is a huge influence perverting every aspect of end-of-life institutional opinion.”

    He wasn’t debating end of life issues. He was testifying as to the medical condition and prognosis of Terri Schiavo.

    David: “Six of her nurses testified she spoke appropriate words. One nurse testified Michael tried to kill her with insulin overdose, all of these nurses delivering us the truth at the cost of their jobs. Just how much of a price does someone have to pay to prove they are not lying before you believe them?”

    These allegations cover a time period long before the evidentiary trial, around 1995 – 1997. The nurse to which you refer even said that the called the Schindlers multiple times to tell them of her allegations. But the Schindlers mentioned none of this in the 2000 evidentiary hearing. In the 2003 affidavit the judge found her allegations “incredible,” and said that “Ms. Iyer details what amounts to a 15-month cover-up which would include the staff of Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center, the Guardian of the Person, the Guardian ad Litem, the medical professionals, the police, and believe it or not, Mr. and Mrs Schindler.”

    But let me guess — you don’t know any of that, because you’ve gotten all your “information” from right-wing web sites rather than looking at copies of the actual court documents.