Schiavo Autopsy Report to Be Released Today

The results of Terri Schiavo’s autopsy will be released today, likely sparking yet another round of controversy and irresponsible charges from both sides of the debate that gripped the nation for several weeks earlier this year.

Schiavo Autopsy Report to Be Released (AP)

The medical examiner’s office plans to release its autopsy report Wednesday on Terri Schiavo — findings her family hopes will shed light on the cause of the collapse that left her severely brain-damaged 15 years ago.

Schiavo, 41, died March 31, nearly two weeks after the feeding tube that had kept her alive was removed under a court order obtained by her husband, Michael Schiavo. Her death ended a bitter legal battle between Michael Schiavo, who said his wife did not want to be kept alive artificially, and her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who disputed doctors’ finding that she was in a vegetative state and insisted she could improve with therapy.

Terri Schiavo’s brother, Bobby Schindler, said Tuesday his family is eager to see if the report indicates what went wrong when her heart stopped beating for several minutes in 1990. Testimony in a 1992 civil trial indicated that her heart stopped probably because of a severe chemical imbalance brought on by an eating disorder. The Schindlers, though, do not believe she had an eating disorder and have accused Michael Schiavo of abusing his wife, a charge he vehemently denies.

One hopes the results will put an end to all this. I just about guarantee that it won’t, however.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. jim says:

    At what point do we start looking at ourselves and wondering why we are so enthralled by this story? She’s passed on so let her rest in peace.

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    Looks like the verdict is that she had a brain about half the size of a normal brain. That is, irreversable brain damage, that she was blind, and pretty much just a body consuming nutrients through a tube and nothing else. Not that I expect these facts to dissuade those who want to believe that a few therapy sessions and Terri would be up and about from claiming the autopsy proves nothing.