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Autopsy report said Schiavo had massive brain damage, blindness

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 4, 2005

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An autopsy report showed that Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman who was in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, had irreversible brain damage and was blind. Schiavo, whose case fueled a national debate about living wills and advance directives, died March 31 of dehydration, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.

The autopsy report, released June 15 by the Pinellas-Pasco County (Fla.) Medical Examiner, said Schiavo's brain weight was about half of the expected weight for a woman her age. It found no signs that Schiavo was strangled or abused before she collapsed in 1990.

Medical examiners said there was no proof that she had an eating disorder and they could not say for certain what caused her to collapse.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/07/04/prbf0704.htm.

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