Pro-life Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson won’t meet with or apologize to Bobby Schindler, Terri Schiavo’s brother, about comments Carson made concerning the legislation Congress passed to help Terri Schiavo’s family try to save her life.
As LifeNews reported, Carson thinks the federal and state governments overreached when they attempted to protect Terri Schiavo from a painful 14-day starvation and dehydration death. Despite the best efforts of pro-life lawmakers in Congress and the Florida state legislature, where lawmakers approved pro-life laws to allow Terri’s family to take their case to federal courts and to allow then-Governor Jeb Bush to try to protect her, Terri’s estranged husband won a court order to euthanize her against her will.
In comments over the weekend, Carson said: “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. Your job [as a doctor] is to keep them comfortable throughout that process and not to treat everything that comes up.”
About the bills Congress and the Florida legislature passed to allow Terri’s family to take their lawsuit to protect her to federal court and to give Bush more authority to protect Terri, Carson added: “I don’t think it needed to get to that level. I think it was much ado about nothing.”
Carson’s campaign then emailed LifeNews a statement from Carson claiming that Carson was saying that the media’s negative characterization of pro-life people working to save Terri’s life during that time was “much ado about nothing” even though a transcript of the interview makes it clear that Carson was opposing the pro-life legislation Congress and Florida approved to try to save her life.
Following that second Carson statement, Terri’s brother Bobby called on Carson to apologize and requested a meeting with him.
Now, the Daily Caller reports that Carson talked with Bobby about the comments on the phone and declined to apologize or meet with Bobby.
“We spoke for a few minutes,” Bobby Schindler told this reporter. “I don’t remember him apologizing. I don’t think starving somebody to death is much ado about nothing.”
“He basically repeated his clippings,” said Schindler, referring to Carson’s insistence that a Florida newspaper misrepresented his impromptu comments on the woman whose case continues to galvanize the pro-life community.
In a phone conversation that only lasted a few minutes, Carson told Schindler, who lives in the Philadelphia area, that he prayed for his family in 2005 when the saga made nationwide headlines. But Schindler got the cold shoulder when he asked Carson to meet him when he campaigns in Philadelphia on November 30.
“[Carson] basically said he was going to be unavailable and had no time,” he recalled.
Schindler said he was upset that Carson refused to unequivocally condemn how his sister was basically starved to death after Schiavo’s husband won a lengthy court battle to have her feeding tube removed.
“I asked him to be clear but I don’t remember him answering,” he said.
Most pro-life people who have contacted LifeNews.com or expressed their views on social media are concerned that a strongly pro-life candidate like Carson would take a seemingly flippant view of the life of death of Terri Schiavo, and her family’s battle to save her life. The battle over Terri’s life and death helped the pro-life movement re-establish its strong opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide.
But some Carson defenders are suggesting that LifeNews and Bobby Schindler are “out to get” Carson. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any pro-life candidate running for president ought to have a pro-life attitude when it comes to end of life issues. With the euthanasia movement pushing for the legalization of assisted suicide in more and more states and the rationing of heath care under government-run Obamacare a serious issue for seniors and the disabled, pro-life voters ought to expect that anyone seeking the office of the presidency be fully committed to the right to life of elderly, infirm and disabled. We hope Carson will reconsider his comments and commit to as strong a pro-life position on end of life issues as he takes on abortion.