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Sean Hannity Misrepresents Doctor in Schiavo Case

Reported by Ellen - March 22, 2005

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, it appears 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 FOXnews.com:

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...

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