Where There’s Life, There’s Hope
Dr. Ben Carson owes pro-life and medically vulnerable Americans an apology. Similarly, any pro-lifer supporting his campaign should take another look at the candidate’s values.
Speaking to reporters at a Florida Republican Party conference on Friday, November 13, Dr. Carson marginalized Terri Schiavo and other struggling and medically vulnerable patients.
Terri Schiavo, who died on March 31, 2005 from starvation and dehydration, was brain injured but otherwise healthy woman who was not reliant on life support. Michael Schiavo, her estranged husband and guardian, had led a national court case to remove her feeding tube—a means of nourishment which millions of patients rely on every day—in order to end her life almost a decade after warehousing her in a nursing home and suspending rehabilitative care.
When asked by a reporter whether he believed Terri Schiavo deserved Congress’s attempt to halt her court-ordered 13-day death by starvation and dehydration, Dr. Carson blithely responded, “I don’t think it needed to get to that level. I think it was much ado about nothing.”
Dr. Carson continued: “We face those kinds of issues all the time, and while I don’t believe in euthanasia, you have to recognize that people that are in that condition do have a series of medical problems that occur that will take them out,” explaining that “your job [as a doctor] is to keep them comfortable throughout that process and not to treat everything that comes up.
Dr. Carson’s advice to doctors “not to treat” brain injured patients is precisely the form of euthanasia that led to the suspension of Schiavo’s rehabilitation and ultimately her court-ordered death.
According to Tom Shakely, executive director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network:
“Traumatically brain injured patients need intensive rehabilitative care, period. Every day, shocked Americans learn they will have to fight their own doctors and medical providers just to afford their loved ones a shot at recovery in the face of a system increasingly driven by cost-minded MBAs rather than caring MDs. For Dr. Carson to align himself with the bureaucrats is devastating.”