Category Archives: Health Care

Are you a psychopath?

We begin with some facts about psychopaths which you may not know (source: Medical Daily):

1. As many as 5% of people may possess psychopathic tendencies.

2. Psychopathy is not a psychiatric diagnosis: Though the term psychopath is often thrown around in criminal justice settings and hypothesizing media, psychopathy is not a recognized psychiatric or psychological disorder. Instead, psychopathy is recognized as either a subcategory or extension of antisocial personality disorder.

3. Hallmark attributes of a psychopath include a lack of empathy for others, selfishness, lack of guilt, and a superficial charm that manifests exclusively to manipulate others. It should be noted that those attributes, except maybe lack of guilt, also characterize pathological narcissists or the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

4. Psychopathy, contrary to popular belief, does not occur in a either/or binary way. Research has suggested that the condition occurs on a spectrum of more or less — from minor psychopathic tendencies, to moderate or severe characteristics. Some psychopaths may possess certain characteristics of the condition, but not all, and even among severe psychopaths, some manifestations of the “disorder” may be missing.

5. Psychopaths and sociopaths aren’t the same: Though both conditions are associated with a poor sense of “right and wrong” and a lack of empathy, there are a few key differences between them. According to Dr. L. Michael Tompkins, a psychologist at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center, the difference lies in having a conscience. A psychopath simply doesn’t have one, he told WebMD. They will steal from you without feeling a twinge of guilt — though they may pretend to if they’re caught, so they aren’t “found out.” A sociopath, on the other hand, will understand that taking your money is wrong and may feel remorse, but it won’t be enough to stop their deviant behavior. That means a psychopath has even less regard for others than a sociopath. Another difference between the two lies in the psychopath’s incredible ability to blend in. They can come off as charming, intelligent, and may even mimic emotions they really don’t feel.  “They’re skilled actors whose sole mission is to manipulate people for personal gain,” Tompkins said. Sociopaths are more likely to come off as “hot-headed,” and may act more impulsively, demonstrating to others their lack of normal empathy.

6. Psychopaths aren’t always violent: The most important characteristics of a psychopath revolve not around violence, but around lack of empathy, selfishness, and manipulation. While some psychopaths may use these traits to commit crimes, others rely on their manipulative nature and ability to charm for other things. Many psychopaths actually find great success in the business world thanks to their ruthless nature — a disproportionate number of CEOs are actually psychopaths. Some other popular career paths for psychopaths include politics, law, media, and being salespeople.

7. Psychopaths are over-represented in prison: While not all psychopaths are violent, many violent people are psychopaths. Researchers say there is an abnormally high number of psychopaths in prison. Some studies suggest 50% to 80% of prisoners meet criteria for antisocial personality disorder, and 15% of prisoners can be expected to be psychopathic, compared to the 1 to 5% expected in the general population. There isn’t much available research on serial killers and mass murderers, but it would be a reasonable assumption that psychopaths are quite over-represented in those populations as well. That’s because a psychopath’s personality makes it easy to act on violent urges or ideas that empathy, guilt, or fear would stomp out in a normal person.

8. Female and male psychopaths may be very different: Psychopaths studied in prison are usually male. Scientists and psychologists have suggested many reasons for this, ranging from the biological to the simple idea that women can get away with crimes more than men because society is less likely to expect psychopathic behavior among them. Though studies have concluded that the few female psychopaths available for study are just as dangerous as their male counterparts, the way their condition manifests may vary. For example, women are more likely to express their psychopathy through behaviors that are often mistaken for other mental illnesses — another clue as to why there are relatively few identified female psychopaths.


9. Psychopathy is not easy to diagnose because there is no brain imaging or biological test that can inarguably identify a person as a psychopath. But the amygdala may play a significant role in psychopathic tendencies. Certain brain structures have been identified as key players in the processing of emotion and empathy — the lack of which is centrally important to psychopathy. Frontal brain regions have been suggested as relevant in psychopathy, particularly the amygdala. Associated with emotional reactions, decision-making, and fear, the amygdala has been identified in several studies as having reduced integrity or function in those scoring highly on the psychopathy checklist. In one of these studies, people with severe antisocial personality disorder showed a distinct thinning of the cortex and deformations in the amygdala.

10. The most commonly used device for identifying psychopaths is the psychopathy checklist-revised (PCL-R), a 20-item inventory of personality traits and recorded behaviors, developed by Dr. Robert D. Hare in the 1970s. the checklist is administered in a semi-structured interview format, and operates on a point system based on whether a behavior (e.g., pathological lying) can be reasonably matched to the subject. The subject is assigned a score between 0 and 40, with 40 being the maximum psychopathy and 0 the minimum. The cutoff for being labeled as a psychopath is 30 in the United States and 25 in the UK.

So, are you ready to find out if you’re a psychopath?

Below are the 20 traits of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R). For each attribute, give yourself a score of 0 to 2, where 0 = “not at all descriptive of me”; 1 = “somewhat descriptive”; and 2 = “describes me perfectly”.

  1. glib and superficial charm
  2. grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
  3. need for stimulation
  4. pathological lying
  5. cunning and manipulativeness
  6. lack of remorse or guilt
  7. shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
  8. callousness and lack of empathy
  9. parasitic lifestyle
  10. poor behavioral controls
  11. sexual promiscuity
  12. early behavior problems
  13. lack of realistic long-term goals
  14. impulsivity
  15. irresponsibility
  16. failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  17. many short-term marital relationships
  18. juvenile delinquency
  19. revocation of conditional release
  20. criminal versatility

When properly completed by a qualified professional, the PCL-R provides a total score that indicates how closely the test subject matches the “perfect” score that a classic or prototypical psychopath would rate. A prototypical psychopath would receive a maximum score of 40, while someone with absolutely no psychopathic traits or tendencies would receive a score of zero. A score of 30 or above qualifies a person for a diagnosis of psychopathy. People with no criminal backgrounds normally score around 5. Many non-psychopathic criminal offenders score around 22.

So, what’s your score? Take our poll!

But there’s actually a simpler test for psychopathy. 

Read this question, come up with an answer, and then scroll down to the bottom for the result. This is not a trick question.

A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met a guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing. She believed him to be her dream guy so much, that she fell in love with him right there, but never asked for his number and could not find him. A few days later she killed her sister.

Question: What is her motive for killing her sister?

[Give this some thought before you answer]







She was hoping the guy would appear at the funeral again.

If you answered this correctly, you think like a psychopath. This test was devised by a famous American psychologist who used it to determine if one has the same mentality as a killer. Many arrested serial killers took part in the test and answered the question correctly.

If you didn’t answer the question correctly, good for you.

If you got the correct answer, please let us know so we can take you off our email list!

Instead of a pic of a psychopath, I chose the one below — the antithesis of psychopaths’ lack of empathy:

Empathy - the antithesis of psychopathy

Empathy – the antithesis of psychopathy

See also:


Third-party reproduction and Nepal’s surrogate baby industry for Israeli homosexuals

surrogate mother - womb for rent

DCG’s post this morning, “Man demands abortion after surrogate learns she’s having triplets,” raises important questions about surrogacy or third-party reproduction.

Third-party reproduction (TPR) refers to:

  • Egg harvesting: the sale of a woman’s fertilized egg(s) for implantation in another woman who is unable to reproduce but who would bear the child; or
  • Surrogacy: the artificial insemination and renting out of a woman’s womb to bear a child who, upon birth, will be surrendered to the renter.

TPR has become a booming and highly profitable “fertility industry” in many countries, including the United States, where there is virtually no regulation.

Another country is Nepal, which experienced devastating earthquakes last April and May. The earthquakes exposed a little-known surrogacy industry in Nepal when Israel sent a Boeing 747 to repatriate Israeli citizens after the first quake on April 25 (in which an estimated 8,000 people died), among whom were 15 babies born to surrogate mothers there. Eventually 26 babies were air-lifted out of Nepal to Israel, but none of the mothers. Another 100 women pregnant with babies for homosexual Israeli clients remained behind.

Michael Cook reports for BioEdge, May 16, 2015, that since surrogacy for homosexuals and single parents is illegal in Israel, they have turned to surrogacy agencies abroad.

India and Thailand had well-developed surrogate-mother networks. But after scandals both countries imposed onerous restrictions on overseas clients. So the Indian agencies moved their clinics to Nepal. Surrogacy is against the law in Nepal, but this only applies to Nepalese citizens. So Indian women have been going to clinics in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to bear babies for Israeli clients.

Alon-Lee Green wrote an op-ed in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz about the exploitation of surrogate mothers in Nepal:

“How can it be that none of the human interest stories or compassion-filled posts [about the earthquakes] mentioned these women, who came from a difficult socioeconomic background, some from Nepal and some from other poverty-stricken areas of Asia just to rent their wombs (not sell their ova, since the fathers generally prefer European genetic material)? Who now, like the babies they’ve just had, are also stuck in the disaster zone?

. . . the attitude toward these women, or more accurately, the lack of one, in the midst of the earthquake story sheds light on exactly what’s problematic about surrogacy: The surrogate mothers have become a commodity, yet another product to be bought on the open market. Or to be more precise, these women, their wombs and their time have become commodities for Israeli men.”

Once the surrogate babies are brought to Israel, they face further difficulties. Because their biological mothers are not Jewish (the ova were purchased from the US, South Africa and other countries), the babies must undergo conversion to be considered Jewish. But most rabbinical courts are very reluctant to allow the children of single-sex couples or single parents to convert.

Kathleen Sloan, in her article “The Dark Side of Third-Party Reproduction” for The Public Discourse, warns that third-party reproduction entails serious health risks and costs for the women involved. 

Normally, a healthy young woman produces only one or two eggs per month, but third-party reproduction calls for more — the goal is to generate as many eggs as possible, sometimes dozens, at once. To do that, women who sell their eggs must undergo weeks of painful self-injections of carcinogenic synthetic hormones and other drugs followed by surgery for egg retrieval.

In the case of women who rent out their wombs as surrogate mothers, they must undergo a similar regimen of dangerous and painful procedures to prepare their bodies for implantation and gestation.

All of these procedures to which the egg provider and surrogate are subjected pose serious health risks.

Short-term health risks include:

  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), characterized by difficulty breathing, excruciating pelvic pain, swelling of the hands and legs, severe abdominal pain and swelling, nausea, vomiting, weight gain, low urine output, and diarrhea. OHSS can be fatal.
  • Ruptured cysts, ovarian torsion, blood clots, chronic pelvic pain, premature menopause, infection, difficulty breathing, allergic reaction, bleeding, kidney failure, stroke, and even death.

Long-term health risks include:

  • Cancer, especially cancer of a woman’s reproductive organs—ovarian, breast, or endometrial cancers.
  • Intracranial pressure from ingesting Lupron, which is given to both surrogates and egg providers. Lupron is not approved by the FDA for fertility use (it is used to treat men with advanced prostate cancer). Lupron is a Categorical X drug, which means that if a woman gets pregnant while taking the drug, the fetus will be harmed.
  • Future infertility.

Then there are the problems for the babies birthed by surrogate mothers. Sloan writes:

Surrogate births intentionally sever the natural maternal bonding that takes place during pregnancy. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published a study in June 2013 that found that “the absence of a gestational connection to the mother may be problematic.” The study also noted that children’s problems may be underreported by the procuring parents who wish to “present their children in a positive light.” The biological link between parent and child is undeniably intimate; when severed, there are lasting repercussions for both parties. […]

For the sake of donors’ privacy, the children have no right to information about their genetic history, despite obvious life-long ramifications for their health and medical care. In addition to frequently not knowing who their biological parents are, they have no way of knowing about any siblings they may have.

Lastly, but not the least, there are the problems for a society that engages in third-party reproduction. They include:

  • The sale of women’s bodies (eggs & womb) for profit. How is third-party reproduction different from prostitution?
  • The commodification of human life: The selling of children is illegal in the United States and many countries. But isn’t surrogacy the sale of children as well?

Despite considerable health costs and risks to third-party reproduction women, there is virtually no regulation of the fertility industry in the United States. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) issue recommendations that are strictly voluntary and therefore unenforceable. For example, they advise that women undergo no more than six stimulated cycles, yet some undergo ten. There are no national registries to track the health of the women who sell their eggs or rent their bodies as surrogates.

For the above reasons, the U.S. has become a popular destination for international fertility “tourism.”

Federal and state governments meddle and interfere in just about every aspect of life in the U.S., but not the fertility industry. Sure makes you wonder why.


Man demands abortion after surrogate learns she’s having triplets

Well this turned into a terrible situation, especially for one of the babies.

Melissa Cook/Photo via NY Post

Melissa Cook/Photo via NY Post

A Georgia man hired Melissa Cook (age 47) for $33,000 to have a child by in-vitro fertilization using his sperm and the eggs of a 20-year-old donor. The woman, from California, was implanted with three embryos. The “dad” became overwhelmed when he learned she was having triplets — and demanded the woman abort one of the fetuses while threatening her with financial ruin, Melissa claims.

“They are human beings. I bonded with these kids. This is just not right,” Melissa Cook told The Post. They learned she was having triplets when the embryos babies were around 8 or 9 weeks. He almost immediately began to raise concerns, and they have grown increasingly threatening, she said.

Cook, a mother of four — including her own set of triplets — is now 17 weeks pregnant. She also had a fifth child as a surrogate. According to California law, aside from life-threatening exceptions, fetuses babies can’t be aborted once they become “viable,’’ or around 20 weeks.

The dad’s lawyer, Robert Warmsley, says “the dad understands, albeit does not agree, with your decision not to reduce,” which he wrote in a Friday letter to Cook, who has never met the sperm donor.

Apparently they have an agreement, hence the threat of financial harm. “As you know, his remedies where you refuse to abide by the terms of the agreement, are immense [and] include, but are not limited to, loss of all benefits under the agreement, damages in relation to future care of the children [and] medical costs associated with any extraordinary care the children may need,” the lawyer warned.

The surrogate  received another letter from Warmsley on Tuesday urging her to schedule a “selection reduction” — abortion of one of the fetuses babies — by day’s end.

Cook wrote an emotional letter to the dad, “The doctor put in three healthy embryos . . . The chances were high they were all going to take. You knew I was 47 years old. If you knew you only wanted two babies, then why put in three embryos?” According to her contract, Cook is entitled to her $33,000 pregnancy fee for one baby, plus an additional $6,000 for each additional child.

Given the pressure she’s under, Cook said she was wavering on her decision to keep all three babies. “I have to reduce. I’m scared. I don’t want to suffer,” said Cook, who is split from her husband and lives in Woodland Hills, Calif. (What about the baby’s suffering?)

Jennifer Lahl, head of the Center for Bioethics and Culture, a group that opposes surrogacy, said the Cook case is the first she’s aware of in which a surrogate mom has gone public to expose the pressure she’s under to undergo an abortion.

The dad’s lawyer declined comment to the New York Post.


What chronic stress does to your brain and the foods that bust stress

Dr. Mercola warns that “Stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day, so developing effective coping mechanisms is a major longevity-promoting factor.”

Have you noticed that when you’re under great stress, you become forgetful?

That’s because, in addition to inflammation, chronic stress actually changes our brain and how it functions.

Lizette Borell reports for Medical Daily, Nov. 11, 2015, that the stress we face day in and day out can eventually develop into chronic stress, at which point it will begin to change your brain. In TED-Ed’s latest video, “How Stress Affects Your Brain,” Madhumita Murgia shows how being overworked or having arguments at home can affect the size and structure of the human brain, as well as how it functions.

Stress starts in the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, where a series of interactions between endocrine glands in the brain and the kidneys take place. This controls how your body responds to stress. For example, when your brain detects a stressful situation, your HPA axis is instantly activated and releases the hormone cortisol, which primes the body for a fight-or-flight response.

High levels of cortisol over a prolonged period of time have notable effects on the brain:

  1. Heightened cortisol levels can cause electric signals in the hippocampus — the center for learning, memories, and stress control — to deteriorate, inhibiting activity in the HPA axis, and weakening a person’s ability to control stress.
  2. Excess cortisol levels can cause your brain to shrink, resulting in a loss of synaptic connections between neurons and the shrinking of the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that regulates behaviors like concentration, decision-making, judgement, and social interactions.
  3. Cortisol may also cause the hippocampus to produce less brain cells, which could make it harder for you to learn and remember things.
  4. That, in turn, can set the stage for more serious mental health problems, like depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s important to take control of your stress before it takes control over you. Decreasing stress levels will increase the size of the hippocampus and improve memory.

There are many ways to reverse what cortisol does to the brain, such as exercising or praying/meditating.

bowl of oatmeal

There are also foods we should eat, some of which — comfort foods like a bowl of warm oatmeal that boost levels of serotonin — calm us down. Other foods can actually reduce the levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and stress hormones that take a toll on our bodies over time.

A healthy diet, therefore, can help counter the destructive effects of stress by shoring up our immune system and lowering blood pressure. Below are foods that are stress-busters (source: WebMD):

1. Complex Carbs

All carbohydrates prompt the brain to make more serotonin, the feel-good chemical. Complex carbs, being longer to digest, give a steady supply of serotonin. Good choices include whole-grain breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals, including old-fashioned oatmeal. Complex carbs can also help you feel balanced by stabilizing blood sugar levels.

2. Simple Carbs

Dietitians usually recommend steering clear of simple carbs, which include sweets and soda. But in a pinch, these foods can hit the spot. They’re digested quickly, leading to a spike in serotonin. Still, it doesn’t last long, and there are better options. So don’t make these a stress-relieving habit; you should limit them.

3. Oranges

Oranges are rich in vitamin C, which can curb levels of stress hormones while strengthening the immune system. In one study of people with high blood pressure, their levels of cortisol and blood pressure returned to normal more quickly when they took vitamin C before a stressful task.

4. Spinach

Too little magnesium may trigger headaches and fatigue, compounding the effects of stress. One cup of spinach helps you stock back up on magnesium. If you don’t like spinach, there are other good magnesium sources — green, leafy vegetables; cooked soybeans; and salmon.

5. Fatty Fish

Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna, can prevent surges in stress hormones and may help protect against heart disease, depression, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For a steady supply of feel-good omega-3s, aim to eat 3 ounces of fatty fish at least twice a week.

6. Black Tea

Drinking black tea can help you recover from stressful events more quickly. One study compared people who drank 4 cups of tea daily for 6 weeks with people who drank another beverage. The tea drinkers reported feeling calmer and had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after stressful situations.

7. nuts

Nuts and seeds, are good sources of healthy fats. Eating a handful of pistachios, walnuts, or almonds every day may help lower your cholesterol, ease inflammation in your heart’s arteries, make diabetes less likely, and protect you against the effects of stress. Almonds are chock-full of helpful vitamins: vitamin E to bolster the immune system, and B vitamins that can make you more resilient during bouts of stress or depression. To get the benefits, snack on a quarter of a cup of almonds every day. But don’t overdo it, though: Nuts are rich in calories.

8. Avocados

One of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure is to get enough potassium. Half an avocado has more potassium than a medium-sized banana! But watch your portion size, as avocados are high in fat and calories.

9. Raw Veggies

Crunchy raw vegetables, such as celery or carrot sticks, can help ease stress in a purely mechanical way. Munching them helps release a clenched jaw.

10. Bedtime Snack

Carbs at bedtime can speed the release of the brain chemical serotonin and help you sleep better. Since heavy meals before bed can trigger heartburn, stick to something light, such as a glass of warm skim or low-fat milk. Research shows that the calcium in milk eases anxiety and mood swings linked to PMS.

11. Herbal Supplements

There are many herbal supplements that claim to fight stress. One of the best studied is St. John’s wort, which has shown benefits for people with mild to moderate depression. Although more research is needed, the herb also appears to reduce symptoms of anxiety and PMS. There is less data on valerian root, another herb said to have a calming effect. Tell your doctor about any supplements you take, so they can check on any possible interactions.

12. De-Stress With Exercise

Lastly, though not a food, one of the best stress-busting strategies is exercise. Aerobic exercise boosts oxygen circulation and spurs your body to make feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 to 4 times a week. Walking is easy! Just put your shoes on and step out of your door!

To get you motivated, here’s one of my favorite songs, from the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:


Giving Thanks

prayer of thanks
Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays in America. But did you know that unlike other secular holidays like Labor Day or the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is explicitly religious in nature?

In 1789, in his first year in office, President George Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving because —

“it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”

In 1815, President James Madison issued a proclamation for “a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness.” After Madison, however, Thanksgiving reverted to a regional celebration in New England for 48 years.

In 1863, magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale petitioned the Lincoln administration that “a day of Thanksgiving now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.”

President Abraham Lincoln called on Americans that year to “fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore if, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”


The United States of America is one of only ten countries that set aside a day to give thanks. In so doing, our forefathers displayed not only virtue, recognizing God’s bounty, but also practical wisdom. We now know, from scientific research, that gratitude, not money, is the key to being happy and healthy. Research shows that happy people tend to:

  • express gratitude on a regular basis;
  • practice being optimistic;
  • engage in frequent acts of kindness;
  • savor joyful events; and
  • practice forgiveness.

We of the Fellowship of the Minds want to take this occasion to thank all our readers and especially our faithful regular commenters who contribute so much to this blog with their intelligence, trenchant observation, righteous outrage, and wit.

God bless you, and may God have mercy on America,


No health insurance in 2015? Get ready to pay up to the IRS

Thanks to the LIVs, those who want free stuff, and the RINOs, we’ve all been Gruberized.


We’ve covered the many horror stories with Obamacare here.

In August, I reported how Obamacare rates are expected to rise in Oklahoma for next year. Ditto for those in Oregon. Last December I reported how Obamacare has increased non-group premiums in nearly all states. In February, I reported on a woman who was shocked when she was forced to pay back her Obamacare subsidy on her taxes.

Well, get ready to bend over even more for the IRS next year if you don’t have a qualified Obamacare health plan.


CBS reports that because of Obamacare everyone is required to be covered under a health insurance plan or pay a penalty. And the IRS is excited: that penalty is set to rise steeply this year.

If you were covered by an employer’s plan for most of 2015, you are in luck and can avoid the penalty. If you enrolled in an Obamacare-compliant plan no later than February 2015, you are lucky, too. Enrolling now won’t help you avoid the penalty one bit – too little too late. To avoid the penalty for 2016, if you won’t be covered under an employer’s plan, you’ll need to enroll in a health plan on an exchange in the first two months of 2016.

If you don’t meet the above criteria: get ready for a shocker when you do your taxes for 2015.  You will have to pay a fine (also known as your “shared responsibility) when you file your 2015 tax return. The government has two ways of calculating what you’ll owe in 2015. That’s the greater of $325 for each adult and $162.50 for each child, not to exceed $975, or 2 percent of your family’s adjusted gross income. The most you can be fined is capped at the national average cost of a bronze-level health plan available on the exchanges. For 2015, that’s $2,570 for singles and $5,140 for families.

According to this calculator, the penalty in 2015 for a single individual whose adjusted gross income is $75,000 would be $1,294. The penalty for a married couple (no kids) with 2015 income of $100,000 would be $1,588.

Note that some people are exempt. This includes those who’ve been uninsured for three months or less in 2015 or lived abroad for more than a year. Here’s a complete list of these exemptions.

Also, some people can qualify for a hardship exemption. This includes those who are homeless, filed for bankruptcy, experienced a natural disaster that damaged your home or who’ve experienced the death of a family member.



The full context of what Ben Carson said about Terri Schiavo

Ben Carson is in another controversy.

This time it’s over what he said about the tragic case of Terri Schiavo — the woman who died in 2005 from dehydration and starvation, after years of legal and political battles, and 15 years after slipping into a coma that doctors later called a persistent vegetative state.

Terri Schiavo

On Nov. 14, 2015, Adam C. Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Carson disagreed with then-Florida governor Jeb Bush’ attempt to bypass court rulings to force the re-insertion of feeding tubes for Schiavo, and referred to the Terri Schiavo case as “much ado about nothing.”

Consistent with his reaction in previous controversies, Carson insisted in an exclusive to LifeSiteNews on Nov. 18 that his remarks had been “taken out of context and misinterpreted.” He said: “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.”

Ben Johnson reports for LifeSiteNews, Nov. 19, 2015, that some pro-life leaders remained uneasy after hearing Carson’s explanation, and numerous LifeSiteNews readers said they wished they could know “the context” via a full recording of the exchange between the Tampa Bay Times (TBT) reporter and Ben Carson.

The same day, Nov. 19, TBT reporter Adam C. Smith posted a full transcript of the exchange with Carson during the Florida GOP’s Sunshine Summit conference:

Times: Dr. Carson, a few years ago when Gov. Bush was in charge of the state, he and the Florida Legislature moved to overturn the court decision on Terri Schiavo to force the feeding tube to be reinserted. What was your view of that as a doctor at the time?

Carson: Well, I said at the time, “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. And your job is to keep them comfortable throughout that process and not to treat everything that comes up.”

Times: Did you think it was appropriate for Congress and the Legislature to

Carson: I don’t think it needed to get to that level. I think it was much ado about nothing. Those things are taken care of every single day just the way I described.

From the transcript above, by “much ado about nothing,” Carson clearly was referring to the efforts by then Florida governor Jeb Bush to intervene in the Schiavo case in order to save her life.

Schiavo’s brother, Bobby Schindler, who leads the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network and has praised Governor Bush’s handling of his sister’s case, said in a column that Carson’s followup comments are not reassuring. Schindler wrote in TBT‘s Buzz blog:

“I have deep respect for the accomplishments and commitment Dr. Carson has shown for life. But our family remains deeply troubled that in seeking to clarify his remarks, he has not unequivocally condemned what happened to my sister. In fact, his suggestion that simple ‘consensus’ among family members and health care providers could justify what happened to my sister is problematic. If I had agreed with Michael Schiavo (Terri’s husband) to starve and dehydrate my sister to death, would that have made it right?”

Orlando lawyer, John Stemberger, one of Florida’s most prominent social conservative activists, said Carson’s Schiavo comments have seriously damaged his appeal to many voters:

“I like Ben Carson a lot, but it is very disappointing that he does not even understand the basic pro-life principle that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. Terri was never in an active dying process. She was a severely disabled person who was killed through the brutal and painful process of starvation and dehydration. While Ben Carson may think this is ‘much to do about nothing,’ for most pro-life voters, it morally disqualifies him as a candidate. He is not thinking clearly about this matter and should reconsider his careless comments.”

Ben Carson has a painting in his home of himself in the foreground, with Jesus standing behind him.

Painting of young Carson and Jesus in hallway

Painting of young Carson and Jesus in hallway

Would our Lord Jesus Christ call Bush’s and others’ efforts to rescue Terri Schiavo “much ado about nothing”?

There are also important policy reasons for conservatives to be skeptical about Ben Carson, see Kelleigh Nelson’s article in NewsWithViews.



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