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No regrets for Frist in Schiavo autopsy

WASHINGTON -- Senate majority leader Bill Frist said yesterday that he doesn't regret using his standing as a doctor to question Terri Schiavo's diagnosis from afar during the intense national debate over whether to remove her feeding tube.

Frist said he accepted the results of Schiavo's autopsy released Wednesday, showing severe, irreversible brain damage. But he stood by his statements on the Senate floor last March, when he argued that on videotape Schiavo appeared to respond to her family and doctors.

''Yes, I would do it over again," the senator told reporters. Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said he had only sought to make sure the most up-to-date testing was performed to determine whether Schiavo was truly in a persistent vegetative state.

He said the autopsy should mark the close of a divisive chapter. ''The diagnosis they made is exactly right. It's the pathology, I'll respect that. I think it's time to move on," Frist said earlier yesterday on CBS's ''The Early Show."

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