Furthermore, the editors misconstrued matters of public record in the Reading's introduction. The facts about Lisa McPherson's death were clearly established more than three years ago when a Florida State medical examiner, after consultation with numerous experts, determined that her death resulted from a blood clot owing to trauma likely incurred in a traffic accident before she arrived at the church's retreat. A judicial finding made more than two years ago established that McPherson desired to be helped in a manner consistent with her religious beliefs, and that she had been assisted twenty-four hours a day by church members who also ensured that she ingested food and drink daily.
The false statements made in Harper's Magazine insult the religious workers who did what they knew would help McPherson's spiritual and mental condition.
William T. Drescher
[Mr. Drescher is Scientology's lead attorney in the Lisa McPherson case. -- DST]
In June 1, 2000, testimony about the changes, Wood admitted that although she had added a traffic accident that had occurred seventeen days before McPherson's admission to the Fort Harrison Hotel (the church's Clearwater, Florida, headquarters) as a factor relating to McPherson's death, she had done so only because "it was that event which set about the chain of factors," and that "clearly, absolutely, the car accident had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Lisa McPherson developed a pulmonary embolus." When questioned about her reason for removing dehydration as a cause of the embolism, Wood stated, "I do think that she was dehydrated and that she was in a coma for a period of time," and that her opinion "as to the severity of dehydration that existed or the degree of incapacitation or length of incapacitation" had not changed "in a significant fashion." Wood conceded that she had considered "changing [the report] back," and had also considered ruling the death a homicide.
David S. Touretzky
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