Oct. 30, 2013 Fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the medical and scientific evidence may support the possibility of the "single shooter, three bullet theory" of the event. Yet new insights into the old medical data simultaneously suggest there may have been multiple shooters, according to a special article by Dr. Rod J. Rohrich, Editor-in-Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Dr. Rohrich and coauthors revisit the medical data on President Kennedy's shooting and death -- an event that continues to generate debate and skepticism to this day. Dr. Rohrich is Professor and Chairman of plastic surgery at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
The authors present a narrative of the events from that fateful November day, focusing on the medical steps taken to resuscitate President Kennedy at Parkland Memorial Hospital. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the president was declared dead 17 minutes after arrival at the hospital.
Controversy and conspiracy theories flared up almost immediately -- from the debate over performing the autopsy to the conflicting results of government panel reports in subsequent years. Dr. Rohrich and colleagues write, "Much of this controversy was driven by incomplete information, poor documentation and analysis, and the puzzling decision to withhold key medical evidence from both from investigators and the public."
Based on his team's review, Dr. Rohrich says "A lot of the presented historical evidence shows that the single-shooter, three-bullet theory is plausible." However, in the face of divergent and contradicting evidence, the authors do not unequivocally support the single-shooter theory.
The competing evidence includes a video interview conducted with Dr. Robert McClelland -- one of the last surviving members of the team of physicians who worked on President Kennedy at Parkland Memorial Hospital. He believes more than one shooter was involved. "I could actually look down within the skull cavity and see that the whole right back half of [Kennedy's] right cerebral hemisphere was gone," Dr. McClelland told Dr. Rohrich. "Not one shot caused all of these things."
Researchers point to three key areas affecting the multiple theories: size and location of the wounds, trajectory of the bullets and the lack of photographs and X-rays.
While researchers cannot point to one definitive theory, the medical data, and recent interview with Dr. McClelland are revealing. "Unfortunately, the controversy was not diminished by the divergent conclusions of the multiple commissions and panels that convened to investigate it," Dr. Rohrich says.
Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:
The above story is based on materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, via Newswise.
Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.