So it turns out that the guy who's not the "Nobel prize nominee" who's being touted by Jeb Bush as the guy with "new evidence" is within quite a bit fewer than 6 degrees of separation to Joe Carter...
Dr. Cheshire directs a laboratory at the Mayo Clinic branch in Jacksonville dealing with unconscious reflexes like digestion, and he is director of biotech ethics at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, a nonprofit group founded by "more than a dozen leading Christian bioethicists," in the words of its Web site.
In an article last year in Physician magazine, published by the evangelical group Focus on the Family, Dr. Cheshire, 44, said doctors are too quick to declare that a patient is in a persistent vegetative state.
"I'm not sure the diagnosis is used consistently," he told Physician. "I am sometimes asked if a patient is in P.V.S., but it's only been a few days. By definition, you have to wait at least a month." ...
Mr. Bush called Dr. Cheshire a "renowned neurologist," but he is not widely known in the neurology or bioethics fields. Asked about him, Dr. Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, replied, "Who?"
Dr. Cheshire, who graduated from Princeton and earned a medical degree at West Virginia University, did not return calls to the Mayo Clinic seeking comment. The clinic said in a statement that his work on the Schiavo case was not related to his work at the clinic and that the state had invited his opinion. "He observed the patient at her bedside and conducted an extensive review of her medical history but did not conduct an examination," the statement said.
Dr. Caplan said that was not good enough. "There is just no excuse for going in and making any pronouncement about the state that Terri Schiavo is in unless you're going to go in and do some form of technologically mediated scanning that would overturn what's on the record already," he said.
Dr. Ronald Cranford, a neurologist and medical ethicist at the University of Minnesota Medical School who has examined Ms. Schiavo on behalf of the Florida courts and declared her to be irredeemably brain-damaged, said, "I have no idea who this Cheshire is," and added: "He has to be bogus, a pro-life fanatic. You'll not find any credible neurologist or neurosurgeon to get involved at this point and say she's not vegetative."
He said there was no doubt that Ms. Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state. "Her CAT scan shows massive shrinkage of the brain," he said. "Her EEG is flat - flat. There's no electrical activity coming from her brain."
I wait with baited breath to see how folks over at Evangelical Outpost (almost wrote "outburst") spin this...