Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, October 24, 2016

Ben Carson has mounted a full response to the story that he had reportedly participated in a study involving fetal tissue research — though even his answer isn’t fully satisfying.

In a post published late Thursday night on Facebook, Carson said that the claim that he actually did research on fetal tissue is “simply is not true.”

Instead, he explained, of the four doctors whose names were on the research paper, his own participation in the study was limited to supplying samples of brain tumors that he had collected from patients. Researchers then compared these with other tissue samples they already had on hand. “Pathologists do this work to gain clues about tumors,” Carson wrote. He continued:

I, nor any of the doctors involved with this study, had anything [sic] to do with abortion or what Planned Parenthood has been doing. Research hospitals across the country have microscope slides of all kinds of tissue to compare and contrast. The fetal tissue that was viewed in this study by others was not collected for this study.

I am sickened by the attack that I, after having spent my entire life caring for children, had something to do with aborting a child and harvesting organs. My medical specialty is the human brain and even I am amazed at what it is capable of doing. Please know these attacks are pathetic attempts to blunt our progress.

It certainly makes sense that Carson himself has never performed an abortion — he is, after all, a brain surgeon.

The question does have to be asked, however: Doesn’t participation in a study that involved pre-existing microscope slides of aborted fetal tissue itself legitimize the basic idea of medical research on aborted fetal tissue? And even if the fetal tissue samples were not specifically collected for this study, nor taken from any recent abortion, were they not obtained via an abortion at some point in time?

Indeed, Carson’s initial comments Thursday in reaction to the original story — issued perhaps before he’d had the opportunity to refresh his memory on what exactly he had done in a study over 20 years ago — could’ve served as a decent lecture for the public on just how important such research really is.

“When we obtain tissue like that, we want to know what the origin of that tissue is developmentally,” Carson told The Washington Post. “Knowing that helps us determine which patients are likely to develop a problem. It’s one of the reasons why at the turn of the last century, the average age of death was 47. Now, the average age of death is 80. Using the information that you have is a smart thing, not a dumb thing.”

Photo: Ben Carson speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 The National Memo
  • Marv Nochowitz

    Using fetal tissues from abortions is necessary for medical research. Dr. Carson’s statement reinforces that. The tissues collected are legal an act of congress made it so. No fetuses were aborted for the purpose of collecting tissues. After an abortion, mothers opted to donate tissues for medical search. The same as when anyone dies and agrees to have organs or tissues used for transplants or research. This is legal and necessary advance medical research and save lives.

    • Independent1

      Yes, what pro-birthers who would prefer that the aborted fetal tissues simply be trashed fail to acknowledge, is as you’ve pointed out, that research using fetal tissue has in fact led to medical findings and treatments that save lives. And the fact that these “pro-birthers’ choose to ignore that fact, simply confirms that pro-birthers are, in fact, not really people who are ‘pro-life’.
      Not only do ‘pro-birthers’ support politicians will do anything for money, including allowing thousands every month to die prematurely by denying them the support they need for food, medical care and even housing (by deliberately cutting unemployment monies and other programs that keep people in their homes); in addition they’ve consistently wanted to deny researchers the tissue samples they need to carry on their research for finding cures to diseases the cause people to die prematurely. How can these people be any more disgusting than they are???

      • Bob Eddy

        You are so very wrong! What they would prefer is that embryo become a fetus and that fetus become a baby — that then then wouldn’t give a rat’s a55 about!

      • Dominick Vila

        The fact that a medical doctor feels compelled to acknowledge his participation in valuable medical research for political reasons is lamentable.

  • plc97477

    I would like to point out to carson that the average life of 80 is mostly in blue states. Which are also those states where the fetal tissue is easier to find. I wonder if there is a correlation.

  • Carson must have had a fellow neurosurgeon perform some specialized lobotomy on him. Hence, his fuzziness regarding what he has done and a general state of confusion. Alternatively, the GOP has bewitched him with a neuro-toxin that effects certain centers of the brain.

  • Carolyn1520

    Hypocrisy and religion makes for fuzzy thinking.

  • Bob Eddy

    At the fear of being totally redundant, is their a Republican politician who is not a flaming hypocrite? From all those Republican governors opposing the stimulus package while posing with a giant check from stimulus package to the myriad of “family values” politicians — think Mark Sanford or David Vitters — who were caught with their pants down (literally) The anti-gay crusaders — Mark Foley and Larry Craig — caught behaving very unheterosexual. The “small government” types — Paul Ryan is a perfect example — who have been dependent on government for their livelihood their entire lives and of course, while not a politician, a paragon of right wing hypocrisy, Bill Cosby, who spent a lifetime of preaching about others moral and ethical deficiencies. Now this from Carson. What he’s seems to be implying is if you only drive the get away car you aren’t really a part of the bank robbery. Of course it’s all very irrelevant. I have a gold fish that has a better chance of becoming President.

  • Whatmeworry

    Begs the question??? PLEEEEASE Using your logic then Hilary perpetrated the Benghazi and killed those 4 Americans and Barak sold Iran the centrifuges that they are using to build the bomb

  • here is how you can fìll-up your bank-account with addítíonal cash every week. check my profíle for more ínfo