Ben Carson called Terri Schiavo’s brother Friday morning but declined to meet with him or apologize for saying the gargantuan Republican effort to save the Florida woman’s life was “much ado about nothing.”
Instead, Carson simply repeated his earlier dubious assertion that the media misquoted him about Schiavo.
“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.
Carson insisted his “much ado” remark to the Tampa Bay Times on November 10 actually referred to how the media depicted activists who rallied to Schiavo’s defense. But a transcript of his exchange with the paper shows he said absolutely nothing about media coverage and spoke only of the intervention by then-Florida Governor Jeb Bush, state legislators and congressional Republicans.
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.
Schindler worries that even Carson’s clarification will embolden people who want to have the feeding tubes of brain injured people removed. Because Carson suggested it was acceptable to do that if all family members agreed.
“We are much too quick to give up on them.”
In a clumsy spin control effort, Carson told LifeNews.com on November 18 that, “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.”
In his November 19 statement requesting to meet with Carson, Schindler said that, “What I and my family find troubling even about Dr. Carson’s clarified remark 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.”
“Now more than ever 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.”
But he didn’t.
It seems being Republicans’ great black hope for 2016 means never having to say you are sorry.