Yes, I got one of these e-mails too

The Bioethics Dude got an e-mail that was represented as having come from a law firm asking for affadavits from or testimonies by physicians about the Terri Schiavo case.

I got the same e-mail too. I'd like to know who else got it. Please comment on this post if you got one of these.

I really have to wonder what's going on, for a law firm to be soliciting bloggers who post under 'nyms, like me and the Bioethics Dude, for affadavits. They have no way of even knowing if we are doctors or not. Why is it a California law firm? Why bother soliciting affadavits from anonymous bloggers? It seems like a lot of effort for minimal payoff, trolling medical blogs for affadavits of doctors who have no personal knowledge of the case and have not reviewed any medical records or tests and, although I have some experience in caring for brain-injured patients from my trauma days and can do a serviceable job of interpreting head CTs, I am not an expert in that area. In fact, I don't even recall leaving any comments on CodeBlueBlog recently, which makes me think the only reason I got this is because of CodeBlue's link to my recent turn at hosting Grand Rounds.

It could be a monumentally bad idea on the part of the law firm, but I can't rule out a trick by someone trying to discredit or harass the law firm or even personally harass the Tracy Jackson who signed the e-mail. (For all I know, it could be the work of her disgruntled boyfriend.) I'm still looking at the e-mail headers, trying to tell if this truly came from where it appears on the surface to have come from.

In any case, it's just another measure of just how utterly bizarre this case has become.


  1. Please. Affidavits. Not Affadavits.

    & I agree, stay away from this, it stinks, no matter what

  2. Come on, dude, give Orac a break with the spelling flames. Even a cursory examination of this blog will show that mispellings are rare.

  3. I also got the same e-mail from Valencia CA, a nearby community. I returned the e-mail with a lecture on the ethics and law involved in the Schiavo case which seems not to be understood by her Florida law firm. Maybe she can learn something and refer the information back to them for their education! ..Maurice.

  4. I wonder if it might be some sort of Grand Wurlitzer campaign to say "Look, 57^2 physicians say..." That is to say, not a legal move, but a political one.

    -KMR; mean kangaroo; mellow mathematician

  5. Orac,

    Since you mention the Schiavo case there's a question I wanted to ask you but was waiting for the opportune moment. I was looking at images of Schiavo's CT scan and I noticed what looked to be a hard mass where the right ventricle should be. My experience with brains is limited to poking around the occassional rat or mouse so I have no idea what the mass could be. If Schiavo's brain wasn't so atrophied I might have guessed it was a clot resulting from a stroke but given that it's a hard piece of material in the middle of what appears to be fluid I have no idea what it might be. Do you have any guesses?

  6. I commented on Code Blue Blog under my pseudonym and received the same e-mail. I was going to send a scathing reply, but simply responded, “I am not a doctor.”

  7. I'll have to look at the scan again. Also remember that it's just one slice of the scan. You don't have the whole scan.

  8. That's true, you really can't make out much from one slice, other than that her brain looks quite similar to those of people with severe untreated hydroencephalitis.


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