Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Murder by Death

This exchange between the host of PBS's "Newshour" and neurologist Russell Portenoy, noted by the show's other guest, Robert P. George, on NRO's The Corner, captures the surreal verbal twists of the media's Terri Schiavo coverage better than any other:

JEFFREY BROWN: Dr. Portenoy, a final medical question. When Miss Schiavo does die, what will she die of?
DR. RUSSELL PORTENOY: Well, patients who have hydration and nutrition develop biochemical changes in the blood. These biochemical changes progress and at a certain level of abnormality they are associated with abnormal heart beat, arrhythmias of the heart. And so ultimately she will die when her heart stops.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right. Dr. Russell Portenoy and Professor Robert George, thank you very much.