Frist Defends His Videotape Diagnosis of Schiavo

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist released a new book this week entitled “A Heart to Serve: The Passion to Bring Health, Hope, and Healing.”

In it, he defends his decision to diagnose Terri Schiavo after reviewing video tape of her for about an hour and blasts the media for trying to make him look bad – from the Nashville Scene:

Just as laughable is Frist’s revisionist account of what happened with Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman whose case became the cause célèbre of the pro-life movement in 2005.

That chapter begins, “We all make mistakes in life.” Ah, the gullible reader thinks, it’s about time Frist admitted he’s human. But then, in a tortured defense, the good doctor denies he did anything wrong by questioning Schiavo’s diagnosis after watching videotapes of her for all of an hour. As he has done in the past, Frist writes that his assertion she was “not somebody in persistent vegetative state” did not amount to a medical diagnosis.

“I never made a diagnosis,” he insists. “I did want an accurate diagnosis confirmed. But the media was on a roll, fed by the partisan left who saw an opening to challenge the credibility of the Senate majority leader of the opposite party. By undermining my credibility as a doctor, they thought they could destroy my credibility as Republican leader. And they threw arrows where it hurt—my profession of medicine.”