Former Patient On Vegetative State Diagnoses (PVS)

The case of disabled Florida woman Terri Schiavo, who has been falsely labeled as being in a "persistent vegetative state" (PVS) by most major media outlets, has drawn attention to the controversial diagnosis which suggests the medical state is permanent. Even those who contend that PVS is a viable diagnosis suggest that patients are frequently misdiagnosed as being in PVS.

According to a study published in the July 6, 1996, British Medical Journal, 43 percent of patients diagnosed with PVS do not qualify for the diagnosis.

Last week Kate Adamson appeared on the Fox News Channel program "The O'Reilly Factor" to relate that she was diagnosed as being in a vegetative state and, like Terri Schiavo, her feeding tube was removed, only to be reinserted after eight days after her lawyer-husband threatened to sue the hospital if they did not reinsert it. Adamson also refuted the testimony of Terri's husband Michael Schiavo who suggested that PVS patients do not feel the pain of starvation.

Host Bill O'Reilly asked Adamson, "So you were feeling pain when they removed your tube?" She responded, "Yes. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. To say that -- especially when Michael [Schiavo] on national TV had mentioned last week that it's a pretty painless thing to have the feeding tube removed. It is the exact opposite. It was sheer torture, Bill."

SOURCE: 13-November-2003 -- Catholic World News Brief (

Return to the Euthanasia Home Page.