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UPDATE (11/19/2015): Ben Carson's campaign has responded to the following story, saying his comments were misconstrued. "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," he said.
He added: "I regret that my recent comments about Terri Schiavo have been taken out of context and misinterpreted."
Bobby Schindler, Schiavo's brother, finds Carson's response inadequate, however. "Dr. Carson's explanation leaves the impression that he remains confused about key aspects of Terri's situation," Schindler told LifeSiteNews. Several other pro-life advocates are also questioning the sincerity of Carson's attempted clarification, supposing that he's simply in damage control mode after the backlash to his comments from pro-lifers.
ORLANDO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Doctor Ben Carson, a leading Republican presidential nominee, says the 2005 pro-life attempt to save Terri Schiavo from starvation was "much ado about nothing."
He told a reporter in Florida last week there was no need for Congress to try to intervene to save Schiavo's life.
"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," said Carson. "Your job [as their doctor] is to keep them comfortable throughout that process and not to treat everything that comes up."
The reporter then asked if it was necessary for Congress to step in and try to stop Schiavo's death.
"I don't think it needed to get to that level," Carson responded. "I think it was much ado about nothing."
Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler, now a staunch pro-life worker who helps people in situations like his sister's, says Dr. Carson owes an apology to those who defend a culture of life and suffer from a culture of death.
"It seems to me that Dr. Carson doesn't understand, or perhaps he has been misinformed about her condition before she was deliberately killed in such a horribly inhuman way — by dehydration and starvation," Schindler told ChurchMilitant.com. "I welcome the opportunity to speak with Dr. Carson to share with him what countless brain-injured patients could possibly face because of this type of mentality."
"[A]ny pro-lifer supporting his campaign should take another look at the candidate's values," he urged in his comments to LifeNews.com. "Carson marginalized Terri Schiavo and other struggling and medically vulnerable patients."
Schindler warns that it's precisely the logic behind Carson's comment that leads to unjust decisions such as the one that sanctioned his sister's murder.
"Whether Dr. Carson understands that Terri Schiavo was not a terminal patient is unclear," stated Schindler, "but it is certainly clear that 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."
This revelation about Dr. Carson could come as a shock to many pro-life Republicans, many of whom have supported the retired neurologist under the impression he's a consistent upholder of human dignity. On the contrary, Schiavo's brother thinks pro-lifers would be greatly disappointed if Carson were to become the 45th U.S. president.
"If we get a President Carson, conservatives won't need to fear Obamacare's so-called death panels," Schindler insisted, "because Dr. Carson would himself represent a one-man death panel, content to ration care and decide who deserves a chance at life based on a warped sense of the ethics of medicine and humane law."
Schindler isn't the only supporter of Terri Schiavo who is upset by Carson's revealing comments. According to Tom Shakely, the executive director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, "Dr. Carson's remarks raise serious questions about the moral character of his allegedly pro-life candidacy. Pro-lifers can't afford anymore part-time believers."
Terri Schiavo, who did not rely on life support, died at a hospital in 2005 of starvation and dehydration.
To learn more about Terri Schiavo's tragic case, watch ChurchMilitant.com's report Dignity in Suffering: Terri Schiavo and Pope St. John Paul II.