Carson Clarifies Schiavo Comments: “I Am Steadfastly Opposed to Euthanasia”

Dr. Ben Carson (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Dr. Ben Carson (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

A minor controversy erupted this past weekend when Ben Carson, whilst commenting on the tragic case of Terri Schiavo, seemed to dismiss it saying it was “much ado about nothing.”

In a response initially provided to LifeSiteNews, Carson has now clarified those comments, arguing that his words were taken out of context and reaffirming his strong opposition to euthanasia:

“I am steadfastly opposed to euthanasia. I have spent my entire career protecting life, especially the life of children. I regret that my recent comments about Terri Schiavo have been taken out of context and misinterpreted. 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 and going way overboard with the support of the patient,” Carson said.

Carson’s email to LifeNews continued: “As I have said previously, it is very difficult to judge people who decide that they want to end their lives when they are afflicted with a terminal disease that is going to lead to a miserable death. There is usually a consensus between the family and the healthcare providers that treatment will be withheld—and the patient would be allowed to die naturally–when he or she develops an infection or other process that would end their life. The job of the healthcare provider would be to keep them comfortable in the meantime, and I support all measures of comfort.”

“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. Terri’s case should have never been turned into the media circus that we witnessed,” he added.

Carson concluded: “I respect the emotions of the Schiavo family and know that this is a painful and difficult issue for many who defend the sanctity of life. For me, defending life is not just a political polemic, it is who I am. I opposed euthanasia long before I was in the public eye, and I continue to do so today.”

While reassuring to some degree, Carson’s explanation still elicited a guarded response from Schiavo’s brother, Bobby Schindler, to LifeNews.com:

“I know all too well how mainstream media can distort and misrepresent good faith remarks. Still, Dr. Carson’s explanation leaves the impression that he remains confused about key aspects of Terri’s situation,” Schindler said.

“Indeed, the idea that family and physician consensus alone should decide the fate of those like my sister is problematic. At the root of the issue is that starving and dehydrating someone to death is always wrong, whatever the beliefs of physicians or family members,” Schindler continued.

You can read the full LifeNews.com article here.

*CORRECTION: This post originally stated that Carson’s clarifying comments were made in response to a request from LifeNews.com. In fact, Carson’s comments were first made to LifeSiteNews.com.*

Paul Dupont is the managing editor for ThePulse2016.com.