PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 19, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- After issuing controversial remarks at a Florida Republican Party conference on Fri., Nov. 13, Dr. Ben Carson has since clarified his perspective on medically vulnerable and brain-injured patients.
Initially describing Terri Schiavo's fight for life as "much ado about nothing," and stating that "We face those kinds of issues all the time," and that "your job [as a doctor] is to keep them comfortable throughout that process and not to treat everything that comes up." Dr. Carson has clarified these controversial comments, stating "When I used the term 'much ado about nothing,' my point was that the media tried to create the impression that the pro-life community was nutty…" Dr. Carson also stated, "When the patient is not terminal, as Terri Schiavo was not, the treatment plan should be determined on the basis of the consensus between the family and the healthcare providers."
Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo and president of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, invites Dr. Ben Carson to dialogue with him—publicly or privately—on the subject of euthanasia. "What I and my family find troubling even about Dr. Carson's clarified remarks," explained Schindler, "is that he has not unequivocally condemned the killing of my sister. Indeed, would simple consensus within our family and among Terri's physicians justified her death by starvation and dehydration? If we had all agreed that it was right to deny her food and water, would that have made it right? Dr. Carson's latest remarks seem to indicate continued confusion on the basic rights of medically vulnerable patients. I would welcome the chance to dialogue with him, in good faith, in public or private, at a time of his choosing."
"Now more than ever," concluded Schindler, "it's important for pro-life leaders and the entire pro-life community to be united in the face of the normalization of medically imposed death and suicide. I believe Dr. Carson can provide such leadership, and welcome the chance for unity."
Terri Schiavo, who died on March 31, 2005 from starvation and dehydration, was a 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.
The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was established by the family members of Terri Schiavo to defend the rights of the medically vulnerable. These rights include the protection from the removal of food and water (via a feeding tube) which has been redefined as medical treatment instead of basic and ordinary care. The Life & Hope Network has communicated with and supported more than 1,000 families, and has been involved in hundreds of cases since Terri's Death. To learn more about the work of the Life & Hope Network, please visit lifeandhope.com.