Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Were They Hiding About Cree Erwin's Death?

Mega-kudos to the folks at Operation Rescue for the amazing research they've been doing into the death of Cree Erwin-Sheppard last Independence Day Weekend. Finally we are able to compare the redacted autopsy report originally provided by the Medical Examiner's office with the original, unredacted copy.

Let's look at exactly what they chose to remove.

On the cover page, under "Cause of Death," the redaction suddenly begins in the middle of the sentence.

The words redacted were "and uterine perforation status post early vacuum aspiration and intrauterine contraception placement." Thus, the procedure performed at the Planned Parenthood was blacked out.

Even more telling is what they did't redact: "Complications of intrauterine pregnancy, including pulmonayr emboli related to uterine vein thrombosis." In other words, findings that could blame Cree's death on pregnancy were left visible. Only the words that make it clear that this pregnancy had been tampered with are blocked out.

Moving on to the "Investigative Summary."

The first and second redactions are bewildering to me.

The first redaction is Cree's obstetric history, "G2P1." This is an abbreviation for "Gravida 2 Para 1," or "Pregnant Twice, Given Birth Once."

Since Cree had already aborted this pregnancy, her obstetric history should have been G2P1A1 (Gravida 2 Para 1 Abortus 1). Omitting the A1 would imply that Cree had been pregnant, rather than post-abortive, at the time of her death.

The second redaction is "There is a past medical history of pregnancy induced hypertension with a previous pregnancy." That information, coupled with giving Cree's obstetric history as "G2P1," could be used to imply that Cree had died during her second pregnancy due to pregnancy-related hypertension.

The final information redacted from this paragraph is: "There was reported history of a recent early vacuum aspiration and uterine contraception placement on 06/30/2016. On July 2, 2016 Cree presented to the emergency department with persistent pelvic pain and new-onset nausa and vomiting, and was discharged with instructions for outpatient follow-up." Thus, the fact that Cree had undergone an abortion is hidden.

The next redaction is in the section describing the internal examination of the chest and abdomen.

The words "Approximately 250 cc of blood are in the retrouterine pouch," are blacked out. In other words, the Medical Examiner's office didn't want anybody to know that there was over 8 ounces of blood in the area behind Cree's uterus.

This is another piece of evidence that officials were deliberately hiding the fact that Cree had suffered a fatal abortion injury.

Moving along to the specific description of Cree's internal reproductive organs.

Right after the words, "The endrmetrial cavity is of normal postpartum configuration," they redacted "and is occupied by clotted blood. An intrauterine contraceptive device embedded within the clot material is identified."

So the fact that the inside of Cree's uterus was normal didn't warrant redaction, but the fact that her uterus was full of clotted blood surrounding an IUD was deemed worthy of blacking out. Again, the fact that a procedure, rather than the pregnancy it self, caused Cree's death is being swept under the rug.

Another sentence is allowed to start unredacted: "The myometrium appears thickened." I'm not clear on why that was left in. The following is then blacked out: "consistent with the reported history of recent pregnancy. A 4.0 cm full-thickness perforation of the posterior lower uterine segment is identified."

So the fact that Cree's uterus was consistent with a reported recent pregnancy is allowed to stand, but the fact that she had a 1 1/5-inch full-thickness tear in the lower back area of her uterus was redacted. The injury is being covered up.

Moving along to the "Examination and Investigative Findings," once again we see that "Complications of intrauterine pregnancy" isn't blacked out. Information allowing Cree's death to be blamed on the pregnancy is conveniently provided.

What's blacked out is, once again, evidence that it wasn't the pregnancy itself that killed Cree Erwin. The hole in her uterus, and the fact that it is related to a recent vacuum aspiration (suction abortion) and recent IUD placement, are redacted. Thus, the fact that tampering with the pregnancy caused a fatal injury is hidden from public view.

The final redactions in the autopsy report seem like adding insult to injury.

The fact that Cree's urine tested positive for methadone and morphine is included. Thus, Cree is being presented as a drug addict.

What's redacted is this:

"Query of the Michigan Automated Prescription System does not return a record of a prescription for methadone in the decedent's name." The authorities also redacted, "Review of avaiable medical records does not disclose a record of methadone administration during admission to the emergency department."

Cree would only have been receiving prescriptions for methadone if she was in treatment for addiction. Thus, the fact that she had no recorded history of drug addiction was hidden. The fact that drugs were in her system was not redacted.

The final blow is a not a redaction, but an omission: Cree had been administered morphine during her trip to the emergency room. The combination of omission and redaction strike me as an attempt to paint Cree as a drug addict.

Through redaction and ommission, the Medical Examiner's office did little short of accuse Cree of being addicted to street drugs, and blamed her death not on an injury sustained during an abortion/IUD insertion, but on the fact that she had been pregnant.

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