Maggiore on Primetime Live
As a follow-up to my HIV posts: ABC's Primetime Live did a segment on Christine Maggiore and her daughter's death last Thursday night. I thought it was just going to rehash many of the arguments seen here and elsewhere; but I was pleasantly surprised by the value added. First, they had the medical examiner explain why he was led to the diagnosis of AIDS. I had figured that he may not comment, but I'm glad he did. Second, they actually showed the slides from the lung and brain on TV. The lungs showed large colonies of P. carinii in the alveoli of the lungs (a place that is normally sterile, regardless of what other non-pathologists might say). It's pretty uneqivocal evidence for PCP. Before they showed this, they asked Maggiore:
Q: What would it take for you to acknowledge that your child died of AIDS?
A: She would need to show evidence of fatal pneumonia. If there is such evidence I welcome that being brought forward.
There is no better evidence for this fact, but it did not sway her.
Third, ABC's website actually posted the ME's report. An independent pathologist was given both the ME's report and Mohammed Al-Bayati's report; he agreed with the ME. (I wish they had actually intervied this guy, or another uninterested party from the pathology profession.)
Lastly, we heard from Maggiore herself that the child was much sicker than I had been previously led to believe. Many denialists will have you believe that she could not have had PCP because it was her first AIDS illness, the X-rays showed nothing, it happened quickly, etc., etc. This is nonsense; PCP is by definition an atypical pneumonia - pneumonias can be separated into typical and atypical based on their signs and symptoms. PCP (along with viral pneumonia, Legionairre's disease, and a long list of others) presents atypically (especially in children) which means the lack of any certain signs or symptoms has no value in ruling out the diagnosis. The definitive diagnosis is made by biopsy/autopsy.
The negligible chance that this child died from something other than AIDS are getting smaller as more information comes to light.
Update: Respectful Insolence has more, including an update of Dr. Bennett's report, and a few extremely suspicious ommissions for Dr. Al-Bayati's original report.