March 22, 2005

Hannity & Colmes Misrepresents Doctor in Schiavo Case

Last night, on Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity three times identified Dr. Bill Hammesfahr, a physician who claims that Terri Schiavo can be rehabilitated, as having been nominated for a Nobel prize. In fact, Dr. Hammesfahr was never formally nominated. According to the Nobel Prize website, "The Nobel Committee receives many informal letters with invalid nominations. These are not included among the documents examined by the Nobel Committee." According to Dr. Hammesfahr's website, the only "nomination" he seems to have received is one such "informal letter" from a Congressman.

In a transcript from last night's show posted on

HANNITY: You were nominated for a Nobel Prize in medicine?


HANNITY: In 1999? For your work...

HAMMESFAHR: ... in patients like Terri. For brain injury and stroke patients. We discovered how you get these people better, and we did it for 10 years with Medicare. We got evaluated by the state of Florida and we first discovered a technique that works in people like Terri.

Later in the transcript:

HAMMESFAHR: Terri is completely aware and conscious and responsive. She is like a child with cerebral palsy. We have kids in the Pinellas County school system every day that are much worse than her, that we're educating.

HANNITY: Doctor, wait a minute. I've got to get this straight here.

You were nominated to get a Nobel Peace Prize in this very work. Are you saying that this woman could be rehabilitated? (Comment: Note that now Hannity has him nominated for two different Nobel prizes!)

HAMMESFAHR: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Could she talk one day?


HANNITY: Then how is it possible we're in this position if you have examined her, you were up for a Nobel Prize. I -- this is mind boggling to me.

HAMMESFAHR: I don't understand it myself. You know, this is a -- this is a case of a terrible error that's happened and it's a grievous case.


HANNITY: Well, this is what I want to understand. This is your area of expertise that got you nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in medicine, the Nobel Prize.

Comment: If Dr. Hammesfahr misrepresented himself as Nobel nominee, can the rest of his conclusions be accepted without skepticism? And why didn't Hannity and FOX News do some checking into this man's claims?

Thanks to our reader, Steve, for alerting us to this.

Posting on Deborah's behalf...

Reported by ellen at March 22, 2005 04:28 PM | TrackBack

His claims are all ludicrous from what I have read. I think I'd double check his sources if he said that the sky was blue!

I have known people with CP (Cerebral Palsy) and they are NOT in ANY WAY like Terri. It is an outrage to compare the two. One is a genetic condition, the other a sad chemical state that was unfortunatly self-inflicted.

If indeed the good doctor is working on therapies for those with brain damage or CP, more power to him, that is work that needs to be pursued. But if his understanding is so lacking in this case, I don't believe that he will make much progress.

Posted by: kodiak PbD at March 22, 2005 04:53 PM

Let's see...

We are supposed to take the word of a doctor who was "nominated" for a Nobel by a right-wing Congressman in this case, but must ignore the scores of Nobel Prize WINNERS when it comes to global warming.

When you look up the definition of hypocrite in Websters, they now simply refer you to "see Republican Party"!!!

Posted by: Charles at March 22, 2005 04:53 PM

So, the feeding of a disabled citizen is a mockery? Is it not the morality of our courts and the press that is in a persistent vegetative state?

On one hand we argue the privacy of the family and the importance of allowing them the right to make this deeply personal decision. When we ask, “What family member should make this decision? Should it be the husband who has taken a common law wife and had children by her? Or, should it be by the parents who want to care for their daughter and make available to her basic therapy that here husband has denied”. At that point the response is “the law states the husband can make this call”. Oh, so this isn’t deeply private and personal; it is guided by the law. Does congress not make the laws?

The culture of death continues to march while the courts and the press lay down the pavement before them.

Please pray for Terri Schiavo.

Posted by: Cam Wolff at March 22, 2005 05:01 PM

They also made it sound as if Dr. Hammesfahr was an actual treating doctor, in some capacity, and that he actually saw her in person as a patient, none of which is true. He later, quietly clarifies that through review of video, and records, he can say he "knows" Terri. Meanwhile, that's exactly what these turds putting up this struggle use to counter the the findings of the doctors that actually offered a medical opinion in the case. More hypocracy, more of the same. As I write this, though, i can't help but feel that the right is constantly setting the stage for debate, and constantly making the rules. Maybe we shouldn';t play into it. It's so hard to stay away though

Posted by: Dill at March 22, 2005 05:02 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

A comment will be deleted if it is 1) totally irrelevant, 2) relevant, but extremely vulgar, or 3) a copy/pasted article with no relevant comment.

Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.