Frist Can't Face Medical Discipline

Because BIll Frist wasn't acting as Terry Schiavo's doctor when he viewed a few minutes of a videotape of her provided by the family and ostensibly did not have access to her medical record, he can't be disciplined for providing a totally inaccurate prognosis. He can, however, be held accountable for his actions in wasting millions of dollars of taxpayer money to defy the wishes of what Republicans have established as one of the bulwarks of their entire social program: the integrity of marriage.

Herr Senator Doctor Frist, who apparently is a very fine doctor when public policy isn't thrown into the mix, defied the permanent, irrevocable nature of the bond that Republicans cherish in order to throw his uninformed, but ostensibly authoritative view into the public despite the fact that Schiavo had been shown over and over again to be receiving the best possible care in Florida. In fact, Republicans have voted for bills--not sure precisely which have made it into law--that would have prevented Terry Schiavo from receiving this level of care, which makes the whole thing ironic. There are people who could return from deep state who will now not receive the care necessary due to funding cuts. We'll have 100,000s of Terry Schiavos who doctors will agree have some chance, and they won't get that chance.

The autopsy of Ms. Schiavo showed that every diagnostic tool that qualified doctors presented with her full record and access to her physically actually produced accurate results. Her brain had atrophied. She could not accept food or water by mouth. Her husband didn't abuse her. She did not have an eating disorder. Of course, the folks so passionate about keeping her alive as the Virgin Mary of Coma have already disputed these results.

Sen. Dr. Frist responded: "Aides to Dr. Frist, a likely presidential candidate in 2008, angrily said he had never made a formal diagnosis and thus had nothing to retract." ... His spokeswoman, Amy Call, sought out reporters who asked about the case to assert that Dr. Frist 'never made a diagnosis.' " The NY Times, however, notes, "Dr. Frist said [in his floor statement on March 17]. 'Based on the footage provided to me, which was part of the facts of the case, she does respond.' "

Rep. DeLay, not a doctor, said on March 20, "Terri Schiavo is not brain dead; she talks and she laughs, and she expresses happiness and discomfort. Terri Schiavo is not on life support."

Of course, being in power means never saying you're sorry or you're wrong. True for Democrats as well as Republicans--all parties.

Except for Mel Martinez, perhaps? " 'I really probably come to the view this has to be more resolved at the state level, seems like the kind of issue the state courts deal with,' Mr. Martinez said."

Next up: Stopping legislative attacks on judges which will lead to more of the kind of violence that is striking around the country.