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The expert witnesses in the George Floyd trial have added their opinions to the court record. The prosecutor’s witnesses say Chauvin killed Floyd. The defense witnesses say Floyd’s underlying cardiac disease killed him (along with a little carbon monoxide and presumed effects of a paraganglioma–finding a paraganglioma on autopsy does not confirm that the paraganglioma was metabolically active; such can exist without causing any clinical symptoms whatsoever–that was discovered during his autopsy). The medical examiner had already ruled the death a murder. All of this is meretricious film flam.
There is no possibility at all, physically, that Chauvin’s actions could have killed Floyd. Physically impossible. A presumed cardiac arrhythmia is just that: Presumed. No way to confirm or refute that claim, except that clinically, Floyd’s death did not follow a pattern that would have indicated such an arrhythmia, e.g, an abrupt demise. His was a gradual (over some minutes) decline. There was no evidence of an acute myocardial infarction on autopsy that would have underpinned that claim from the defense expert.
The only thing that could possibly have happened, is that Floyd died of a drug overdose. His gradual decline, after proclaiming that he “ate too many drugs,” is fully consistent with the respiratory depression caused by Fentanyl. This was a drug overdose death. No one will say that, apparently for political reasons. The levels of fentanyl ascertained on autopsy were sufficient to cause death. The clinical course was fully consistent with a drug-induced overdose death.
The fault of the officers is that they did not recognize the situation in a timely manner and get the right help: e.g., an IV dose of Narcan, and possibly respiratory support (intubation). They did not start CPR. One can fault them for that, but those skills are the bailiwick of a good ER physician, not cops on the beat. And, unfortunately, the great and learned experts missed exactly what the cops missed.
To cite the most relevant savant on such events: Stupid is as stupid does.
That’s all I’m going to say about that.Published in