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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VI - Page 44« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Dr. Charles Rufus Baxter)

Mr. Specter.
Dr. BAXTER. No; none at all. We, I think, everyone present in the room was certainly emotionally involved in the care of the President, but in no instance did I see less than the most meticulous and best judgment used in the care of the President.
Mr. SPECTER, And what, in your opinion, was the cause of death, Dr. Baxter?
Dr. BAXTER. Gunshot wound to the head.
Mr. SPECTER. Would you have an opinion as to whether or not President Kennedy would have survived the gunshot wound which you observed in the neck?
Dr. BAXTER. We saw no evidence that it had struck anything in the neck that
would not be well taken care of by simply--by the tracheotomy and chest tubes.
Mr. Specter.
Did you find any bullets in the President's body ?
Dr. BAXTER. No, we did not.
Mr. SPECTER, Any fragments of bullets in the President's body?
Mr. Baxter.
No, sir.
Mr. SPECTER, Dr. Baxter, I now show you Commission Exhibit 392, which has been heretofore identified in Commission Proceedings as the report from Parkland Memorial Hospital, and I now call your attention to a page which purports to bear your signature, and a written report which you rendered under date of November 22, 1963. I ask you, first of all, if that is your signature?
Dr. BAXTER. Yes.
Mr. Specter.
And, if this is the report which you submitted?
Dr. BAXTER. Yes.
Mr. Specter.
Do you have any other writings or notes of any sort concerning

your care of President Kennedy?
Mr. SPECTER. Will you read into the record, Dr. Baxter, the contents of your report, because it is a little hard to read in spots ?
Dr. BAXTER. "I was contacted at approximately 12:40 that the President was on the way to the Emergency Room, having been shot. On arrival there, I found an endotracheal tube in place with assisted respirations, a left chest tube being inserted, and cutdowns going in one leg and in the left arm.
The. President had a wound in the midline of the neck.. On first observation of the remaining wounds, the temporal and parietal bones were missing and the brain was lying on the table with extensive lacerations and contusions. The pupils were fixed and deviated laterally and dilated. No pulse was detectable, respirations were (as noted) being supplemented. A tracheotomy was performed by Dr. Perry and I and a chest tube inserted into the right chest (second interspace anteriorly). Meanwhile, 2 pints of O negative blood was administered by pump without response. When all of these measures were complete, no heartbeat could be detected, closed chest massage was performed until a cardioscope could be attached, which revealed no cardiac activity was obtained.
Due to the extensive and irreparable brain damage which was detected, no further attempt to resuscitate the heart was made."
Mr. Specter.
And that bears your signature?
Dr. BAXTER. Charles R. Baxter, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, Southwestern Medical School, University of Texas.
Mr. SPECTER. Dr Baxter, has any representative of the Federal Government ever talked to you about this matter prior to today ?
Dr. BAXTER. The only person was a Secret Service Agent about--approximately three weeks ago who asked me if I had any additional written comments anywhere or had made any writings on the medical treatment of the President, and the answer was "No."
Mr. SPECTER, Now, prior to the time that the court reporter started to transcribe my questions and your answers, did you and I briefly discuss this deposition proceeding, its purpose and the questions which I would ask you ?
Dr. BAXTER. Yes.
Mr. Specter.
And are the answers given on the record here the same as you gave me in our brief conversation before the transcription was started?
Dr. BAXTER. Yes.

Mr. SPECTER. Do you have anything to add which you think might be helpful in any way to the work of the Commission?
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