Ben Carson at 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit Photo credit: Dave Davidson - Prezography.com
Ben Carson at 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit
Photo credit: Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

I understand that as a retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has had to deal with end of life issues from a perspective that most presidential candidates will never have.  Carson thus far has been his own worst enemy when it comes to stepping on rhetorical land mines.

These are unforced errors folks, and Carson should know better.

First, there is still a disconnect between Carson’s stated belief that life begins at conception and how that is put into practice because of things Carson has said.  Now he seemingly dismisses the conflict surrounding the Terri Schiavo case.

You may remember the end-of-life legal struggle that occurred in Schiavo’s case. Schiavo suffered a heart attack in her home in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1990.  She suffered brain damage due to oxygen deprivation causing her to be left on life support.  Her state was determined to be irreversible.

A legal battle between her husband Michael Schaivo and her parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, which escalated to involve former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, President George W. Bush and Congress.  A federal judge eventually ruled in favor of Michael Schiavo so Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed and she was starved to death.  She died on March 31, 2005.  It took her 13 days to die.

“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,” he said to a reporter at an event Carson attended in Florida. “Your (the doctor’s) job is to keep them comfortable throughout that process and not to treat everything that comes up.”

Surely Dr. Carson sees the difference between not treating and withholding food?

I understand people have living wills and do not resuscitate orders.  The Schaivo case was different, she was starved to death.  There were serious ethical implications at stake in her case.

The reporter asked if Carson thought it was necessary for Congress to intervene, he said: “I don’t think it needed to get to that level. I think it was much ado about nothing.”

I think it was much ado about nothing?  I don’t think so.

This was another unforced error, and I suspect many of us in the pro-life community disagree with Dr. Carson on this.

Disclaimer: I have endorsed Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for President of the United States.  My views are my own and not necessarily that of Governor Jindal or his campaign staff. 

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