Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ben Carson The Paradox: A respected surgeon now in search of presidency, baffling science-minded Americans

Dr. Ben Carson

Ben Carson was a well-respected neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital for years, reportedly known to be reserved, calm and collected. That image juxtaposed with his current political person is not only confusing, it’s disconcerting to some of the Americans acutely conscious of science, medicine and simple logic. How is it that a relatively reserved man who conquered as many as 400 surgeries a year could have some of the most radical beliefs now that he’s behind a podium and sharing thoughts with the media?

The New York Times took a thoughtful look at Carson’s clearly contradictory personas in a piece that highlights how it has led some (mostly in the medical community and previous colleagues) to be disappointed and others actually personally or professionally affected.
“I think many of the doctors out there would disagree with the things he says as a politician, but understand him as a person as a very decent person,” Dr. Karin Muraszko, the chairwoman of the neurosurgery department at the University of Michigan, who has been in contact with and shared patients with Carson, told The Times. “The person and the doctor are very separate from the politician.”

It’s no mystery that Carson is devoutly Christian and has both gained and lost potential followers based on his extreme commentary about things such as same-sex marriage, pedophilia, climate change, creationism, 9/11, veterans affairs or ISIS.
Although some of those views are perplexing and offensive to many, those beliefs don’t really have anything to do with him being a healthcare professional, necessarily.
Eyebrows have been raised, though, as he has backed the view of the medical community that autism was not caused by vaccines but stated that “it is true that we are probably giving way too many in far too short a time.”
In an interview with The Times published over the weekend, Carson defended his comments about vaccinations by saying:

When you look at how many times the schedule has been altered by so-called experts, it tells you right there that whatever schedule they come up with is not necessarily the perfect schedule. Take into consideration the concerns of these people and let’s work with them, so that we can get people on the same page, rather than declaring: “I’m the great Oz. No one else could possibly know anything.”
In addition to that, he stated:
There are some diseases where I think there is room for discussion. Chickenpox. Now, chickenpox is generally not a fatal disease by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, when I was a kid, they used to have chickenpox parties. Somebody would get it, and they’d bring everybody over so they would get it, too. And then everybody would be immune to it.
Running for office has either altered the way Carson truly feels about certain scientific and medical topics, along with how he presents himself, or it has simply allowed him to access and perhaps exploit a previously untapped outlet.
Carol James, his longtime physician assistant, told The Times that when she heard Carson’s comments about vaccinations, “I was ranting and raving.” She also stated that his comments might be a demonstration of “how he is open to compromise.

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