As everyone knows by now, it turns out that Terri Schiavo’s brain damage was catastrophic and irreversible. In addition, she was blind, so what may have looked on a videotape like her eyes following visual stimuli was more likely the random movements of eyes that could no longer see. The autopsy report is here, for those who are able to make sense of the medical jargon (the last 12 pages or so are somewhat more comprehensible).
And yet, let us recall for a moment the actions in this matter of the august leader of the Senate Republicans, DOCTOR Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). DOCTOR Frist (as he reportedly prefers to be called) told the nation that, in his medical judgment, Terri Schiavo may well not have been in a persistent vegetative state. This judgment was based on his personal hour-long review of video footage, after which DOCTOR Frist opined that "she certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli." That informed judgment of course contradicted what Ms. Schiavo’s doctors had been saying for years based on numerous in-person examinations (the usual way of practicing medicine), and turns out to have been completely wrong. How could DOCTOR Frist have screwed up so badly?
Ah yes. He had his head up his ass while viewing the videotape (and throughout the entire Schiavo affair). And therefore his own review of the videotape was hampered as a result of rectal tissue interfering with his brain’s ability to process visual stimuli. Case closed.
UPDATE (6/17): The conservative, Republican-leaning Boston Herald gets it exactly right.