Jett Travolta Autopsy Report: Seizure Diagnosis 'Premature'
Following Jett Travolta's autopsy, in which the cause of death was listed as "seizure," various professionals are weighing in on both the accuracy and plausibility of the report.
Considerable confusion surrounding Jett's psychological condition has sparked intense public interest in this extremely sad event; did he have autism? Kawasaki Syndrome? Both, neither? And how does Scientology factor into all of this?
Jett's body was cremated under the supervision of their family doctor immediately following the autopsy - the Travolta family was not present.
Dr. Cyil Wecht, a forensic pathologist, spoke on Larry King Live this evening and called the diagnosis "premature" because 'death by seizure' is not a finding that could be visible to the naked eye. It can only be determined through the exclusion of other causes, and then verified by looking at closely at slides and toxicology reports, which take days to process.
There is nothing of significance to find, anatomically speaking. The only way you can make that diagnosis is if you rule out everything else, including drugs in a toxicology report. If that is the case, that could take a couple of weeks.”
Wecht also expressed his surprise at the speed with which the Travolta's disclosed the cause of Jett's death to the public - though the official autopsy report has not been released.
Supposedly there was no trauma to Jett's body, a revelation which means initial suspicions that he may have died from hitting his head on the bathtub, or from complications between a seizure and head trauma, appear incorrect.
Michael McDermott, an attorney for the actor, said that police wrongly left the impression that Jett was unsupervised. He said that two nannies were with Jett throughout the evening.
Mr McDermott and Michael Ossie, who represent the star, told the website TMZ.com that Jett suffered frequent seizures and that "each was like a death", with the boy losing consciousness and convulsing. Jett took the anti-seizure drug Depakote for several years, reducing the frequency of his seizures from an average of every four days to once every three weeks, they said, but the drug lost its effectiveness. The Travoltas, after consulting neurosurgeons, stopped administering it and Jett went back to having one seizure a week.
While the public cries out for respect and privacy there are also many outstanding questions - particularly with respect to Jett's health, regardless of whether or not his condition(s) had anything to do with his death.
The Travoltas' belief in Scientology, a "pseudo-religion" which doesn't recognize psychological disorders, has also intensified the discussion and confusion surrounding Jett's tragic death.