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Ben Carson did research on 17 week fetal tissue

Dr. Ben Carson, GOP nominee hopeful, told Fox’s Megyn Kelly that “There’s nothing that can’t be done without fetal tissue” and that the benefits of fetal tissue have been “over promised” and the results have “very much under-delivered.”

Carson also said, “At 17 weeks, you’ve got a nice little nose and little fingers and hands and the heart’s beating. It can respond to environmental stimulus. How can you believe that that’s just a[n] irrelevant mass of cells? That’s what they want you to believe, when in fact it is a human being.”

Dr. Carson, like everyone, is entitled to an opinion no matter how wrong, What he says doesn’t change the fact that fetal tissue  plays a vital role in medical research. For example it is being used to develop a vaccine against EbolaMany researchers depend on fetal tissue to understand and hopefully develop treatment for a myriad of conditions from blindness to HIV. Without fetal tissue neurosciences research, something essential for the development of neurosurgical techniques, would be far less developed. Dr. Carson should be intimately aware of this fact.

While opining on the uselessness of fetal tissue research to Megyn Kelly Dr. Carson neglected to mention his own paper Colloid Cysts of the Third Ventricle: Immunohistochemical evidence for nonneuropithelial differentiation published in Hum Pathol 23:811-816 in 1992. The materials and methods describe using “human choroid plexus ependyma and nasal mucosa from two fetuses aborted in the ninth and 17th week of gestation.”

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Yes, Dr. Ben Carson has done research on fetal tissue and published his findings. His name is on the paper so that means he had a substantive role in the research and supports the methods and findings.

How does one explain this given Carson’s stand on fetal tissue research?

Perhaps Dr. Carson feels that only his work delivered the goods and all other researchers have produced inconsequential work,  an Ebola vaccine clearly not of merit by Carson’s logic.

Could he think his own research was useless? However, if it was non contributory to the field why was it published?

Maybe he forgot that he’d done the research on fetal tissue? Convenient I suppose if you are a Presidential hopeful and want to use your doctor credentials to get prime Fox and Brietbart space and there is a fetal-tissue-for-research issue.

It could have been some resident research paper that just needed a faculty member and he was sympathetic so got stuck with the job, but then again if you are running for President shouldn’t you know your own CV? And there is still that sticky issue of why add your name if you find fetal tissue research so unnecessary?

Might he feel that fetal tissue research was ok then, but not now? Using that logic we must have learned everything about medicine by 1992 and now we’re just working out the kinks while waiting for the cure for Alzheimer’s, HIV, and Parkinson’s to drop from the heavens.

As a neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson knows full well that fetal tissue is essential for medical research. His discipline would have a hard time being were it is today without that kind of work. What is even more egregious than dismissing the multitude of researchers whose work allowed him to become a neurosurgeon is the hypocrisy of actually having done that research himself while spouting off about its supposed worthlessness.

 

***Update: August 14th***

Due to the increasing number of hateful comments and personal attacks comments are no longer allowed on this post. Ad hominem attacks mean you have a weak  argument and frankl;y I’m just not interested in the vitriol.

I just pointed out that Dr. Carson’s vocal position on fetal tissue research seemed incongruous given A) his career as a neurosurgeon depended on embryology which required lots of research on fetal tissue and B) the fact he is an author on a paper that used fetal tissue for research. His claim that he “just” donated adult tissue doesn’t hold water. If he had an issue with fetal tissue he should have made sure he wasn’t contributing in any way to work that he believed had little hope of helping anyone. If he isn’t against fetal tissue research he shouldn’t have told Megyn Kelly otherwise.

 

 

Discussion

188 thoughts on “Ben Carson did research on 17 week fetal tissue

  1. Ooops?

    Posted by Rick Perry | August 12, 2015, 11:14 pm
    • I believe that studying a fetus is god for the medical field. There’s a difference between conducting a study on it rather than conducting an abortion himself.

      Posted by Diaz | August 14, 2015, 5:56 am
    • Response from Ben Carson: “Today I was accused by the press as having done research on fetal tissue. It simply is not true. The study they distributed by an anonymous source was done in 1992. The study was about tumors. I won’t bore you with the science. There were four doctors’ names on the study. One was mine. I spent my life studying brain tumors and removing them. My only involvement in this study was supplying tumors that I had removed from my patients. Those tissue samples were compared to other tissue samples under a microscope. Pathologists do this work to gain clues about tumors.

      I, nor any of the doctors involved with this study, had anything 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.”

      Posted by Soleil10 | August 14, 2015, 7:25 am
  2. Once again, Dr. Gunter, thank you!

    Posted by bri65 | August 13, 2015, 12:07 am
  3. Dr Jen: What is the medical definition of fetal tissue? Some sites seem to make a distinction between “tissue” and “organ”, while infer that tissue and organ are essentially the same.When I renewed my CA Driver’s License, the donor section referred to “tissue and organ”. So, color me confused.
    Thanks!

    Posted by steven c shepard (@scshepard) | August 13, 2015, 12:42 am
    • An organ is a complete sub-system, such as a heart, lung, eye, spleen, etc. The word “tissue” is used to indicate a piece or fragment of an organ or other part of the body.

      Posted by equanimus | August 13, 2015, 4:03 pm
  4. Nice bit of research, Dr. Gunter.

    Posted by Robert Aiello | August 13, 2015, 2:45 am
  5. Thanks, Dr. G! Excellent post.

    Posted by Dr. H. | August 13, 2015, 4:28 am
  6. I’m completely unsurprised by Ben Carson’s denial. I guess getting to be President is worth selling your soul. SMH.

    Posted by Erin Bliss | August 13, 2015, 5:39 am
  7. The fetal specimens used could have been the products of spontaneous abortions, i.e. Miscarriages, or pregnancies that ended for other reasons.
    Dr. Gunter assumes that the fetal tissue was from elective abortions. It might not have been.
    Please note that this research was published more than 23 years ago. There have been dramatic changes in research and medicine in that time, as well as in attitudes toward all of the above.

    Posted by Anonymous | August 13, 2015, 6:30 am
    • Tissue from spontaneous abortions is often abnormal, hence the loss, so not usually used for research

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 13, 2015, 6:38 am
      • Interesting, thank you for raising the issue. I hope an interviewer asks him directly- I’d like to hear his reply.

        Meanwhile, what of a sitting president who has lied directly to reporters, at least 3 times, about his voting record on related morals-based issues, and “evolved” on others. Any outrage there, or are politicians not the only professionals prone to hypocracy?

        Posted by Pablito Morado | August 13, 2015, 10:02 am
      • Not necessarily abnormal. Incompetent cervix can also cause a spontaneous AB. Also, problems with placental development or an abruption.

        Posted by Sydney Smith | August 13, 2015, 10:57 am
      • When you want to understand normal you need normal. Any pregnancy that ends on its own is by definition not normal in some way. Abnormal fetal neuro signaling could trigger delivery or subclinical infection and could be misdiagnosed as incompetent cervix. If the tissue had come from a spontaneous abortion that would have been stated in the methods section.

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 13, 2015, 11:22 am
      • Are you an American?

        Posted by Patricia | August 13, 2015, 2:20 pm
      • I missed this great comment. Why does that matter??????

        But yes, I am

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | October 24, 2015, 11:22 am
      • Tissue from spontaneous abortions is often normal, so oftentimes it is used for research. It depends on what one is trying to accomplish.

        Posted by Dr. Robert Urban | August 13, 2015, 3:23 pm
      • Actually 61% of 1st trimester miscarriages have an abnormal karyotype (that doesn’t include abnormalities a karyotype misses). So < 1/3 is not often and hence why it can't be used in many situations. Spontaneous abortions are sent to pathology in formalin and would have very limited utility.

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 13, 2015, 3:29 pm
      • I graduated from medical school in the US around the same time as Dr. Carson. There were many babies who were born alive from age 20 weeks, or older. Usually only those babies older than 26 weeks survived. If we needed tissue, after securing permission from the parents, we would obtain it. The babies who didn’t survive were sent to the hospital morgue; oftentimes the parents wanted to give them a traditional burial.

        Posted by Dr. Robert Urban | August 13, 2015, 4:40 pm
      • Why don’t Dr.Gunter post the entire paper. There is no point in selectively showing parts of the paper.

        Posted by Dr.Ashish Patil | August 13, 2015, 9:31 pm
      • The entire article can be accessed using the citation provided. If you can’t do it, you can ask the librarian at the hospital you are affiliated with.

        Posted by T. Jamil, MD | August 14, 2015, 7:45 am
    • I think the main difference is that Ben Carson wasn’t running for President in 1992.

      Posted by Jason Biggs (@jbigss1965) | August 13, 2015, 6:57 am
    • Yes. There has been a dramatic change in Dr. Carson’s attitude. He wants to be president.

      Posted by John | August 13, 2015, 7:07 am
    • If he were basing his current comments on “dramatic changes in research and medicine” in the last 23 years, he could have said something to the effect of “scientists don’t need to use them any more.” That would have been a more powerful statement than his blanket condemnation. He wouldn’t even have had to reveal his own work to make that argument.

      But he didn’t. Because he is a craven panderer.

      Posted by madder | August 13, 2015, 7:27 am
    • Whether Carson’s research was conducted on aborted or miscarried fetal tissue is irrelevant, as is stated in the above blog: he believes ALL fetal tissue research should not be conducted, except by him.

      Fetal research has provided huge gains in medicine (polio vaccine, early 1950s) to cutting-edge research today, particularly neuroscience. There is no substitute, and this donated tissue would otherwise be destroyed.

      Posted by Carlos Sanchez | August 13, 2015, 9:02 am
      • Funny you should point this out because Dr Carson has already said this several times. I can tell you from personal experience Dr Carson is not the individual Dr Jen and most posters to this blog are trying to make him out to be. I guess this is what happens when a candidate actually has real solutions to the myriad problems trying to destroy this country. Try dropping your agenda and listen for once.

        Posted by Sidney L Hawes | August 13, 2015, 10:42 am
    • Carson doesn’t like abortions nor the use of fetal tissue/organs. He can still say he is against abortions, but it would be a lie to say he’s against using fetal tissue/organs for the advancement of science or medicine. Abortions happen whether by nature or physician assisted – why shouldn’t something potentially good come out of it? The women don’t make money off of it, neither does Planned Parenthood.

      Posted by eaglesfanintn | August 13, 2015, 9:57 am
      • Carson also issued a statement, saying, “There is absolutely no contradiction between the research I worked on in 1992 and my pro-life views. The issue of fetal tissue has everything to do with how the tissue is acquired. My primary responsibility in that research was operating on people to obtain diseased tissue for comparison to banked tissue samples. Killing babies and harvesting tissue for sale is very different than taking a dead specimen and keeping a record of it, which is exactly the source of the tissue used in our research.”
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/13/ben-carson-no-apologies-for-1992-fetal-tissue-research/

        So he is essentially saying that fetal tissue research is okay if the tissue is legitimately obtained, but also said in another article that he did not continue doing fetal research.

        Also, the allegations based on the Planned Parenthood secret videos is that they DID make money, which is even worse because the women probably had to pay for the procedure and were not told that Planned Parenthood would be selling tissue/parts/organs for big money.

        Finally, if everyone here hold’s the exact same opinions after 20+ years of life experience and increased education I would question if you have been living in a cave or simply incapable of learning and evolving.

        Posted by Mike | August 13, 2015, 11:20 am
    • Yes, you are correct in saying 23 years ago ! This Dr. really doesn’t know what type of tissue was used or where it came from !! I believe some are trying to discredit Dr. Carson because he is climbing up in the polls.

      Posted by Susan Whitehead | August 13, 2015, 1:35 pm
    • This was my thought as well. Maybe the fact he specified 17 weeks in the quote is because he remembers the research 23 years ago and it changed or formed his opinion against using fetuses for research in the future. It seems like it should be a life changing event for me.

      Posted by Joseph | August 13, 2015, 4:57 pm
    • One problem with your defense. Carson claims he only contributted Brain tumors not fetal tissue. That is clearly not the truth.

      Posted by Jack Bulkin | August 13, 2015, 8:50 pm
      • How is that plainly not the truth. Where is the evidence that he did anything but donate the tumors? Would love to see the evidence that you have…if you really have it.

        Posted by ntothat | August 13, 2015, 9:42 pm
  8. Dr. Gunter, Your inferences seem a bit exaggerated and over the top … I thought He gave a credible explanation. I do not see a contradiction between his pro-life views/comments and his involvement with and explanation of his own fetal tissue research and the contrast with what PP and its network is now accused of doing – i.e. encouraging/coercing (moral issue) and performing abortions with the express intent procuring the “tissue” for profit & medical research (possible legal issue).

    “Dr. Carson, like everyone, is entitled to an opinion no matter how wrong, What he says doesn’t change the fact that fetal tissue plays a vital role in medical research”
    – Though there are clearly differing views among scientists, even if that were the case, you don’t encourage, pursue, and even change procedures with the express intent of procuring “tissue” for whatever purposes – profit/research/…

    “While opining on the uselessness of fetal tissue research to Megyn Kelly Dr. Carson neglected to mention his own paper”
    – He said ” if that was the only way then we can talk about it …” Also that with the advances in medicine since that time (1992) and the ensuing research and learning and results, there is nothing that cannot be done with adult tissue … He also mentioned that He hadn’t used fetal tissue since …

    “…supports the methods and findings”
    – What methods? Are you referring to aborting for the express intent of procuring the tissue?

    “Perhaps Dr. Carson feels that only his work delivered the goods and all other researchers have produced inconsequential work, an Ebola vaccine clearly not of merit by Carson’s logic.”
    – quite the contrary and in fact 1) He said, “if that was the only way we can talk about it” and 2) whatever the merits, aborting for the express purpose of obtaining tissue is wrong and possibly illegal.

    The rest of of the article is again drawing your own conclusions based on your views …

    If anything He is being honest … not running from the article and the associated research and succinctly and logically and reasonably explaining everything … Not the dogmatic and religious and uncompromising view, beliefs, actions of PP.

    Posted by Chandra | August 13, 2015, 11:21 am
  9. Reblogged this on Meh, it's Sarah. and commented:
    I always love Dr. Gunter’s work, but this is a REALLY great find.

    Posted by mehitssarah | August 13, 2015, 11:43 am
    • Actually, Dr. Gunter’s post is very misleading. It suggests that the fetal tissue at issue was obtained from ABORTION CLINICS. Apparently, the fetal tissue was obtained from mis-carried fetuses. That’s a BIG difference. Second….Where are all these scientific breakthroughs we were promised with stem cell research and fetal tissue research? Dr. Carson is right. The merits of this type of scientific testing have been greatly overstated.

      Posted by Jogar Anderson | August 13, 2015, 1:03 pm
  10. 24 years ago, things do change.

    Posted by s,,sjk | August 13, 2015, 12:07 pm
  11. Trust me, I dislike Dr. Carson as much as the next Democrat, but I’m not 100% sure he’s a hypocrite on this one.

    First: When he said “There’s nothing that can’t be done without fetal tissue”, I don’t think he means that _quite_ as strongly as it sounds. I think he’s talking in the context of all the curative potential attributed to fetal stem cells etc. I don’t agree with this statement, and I think it’s political bullshit, but I think his claim is limited to denouncing the idea that fetal stem cells have therapeutic potential beyond other sources of stem cells.
    In particular, I _don’t_ think that he’s claiming that the study of some disease or malady that exclusively afflicts developing fetuses wouldn’t be helped studying fetuses that died from that affliction. I think if he had been asked that clarifying question at the time he made the “There’s nothing that can’t be done without fetal tissue” statement, that he would have agreed that in such specific cases, studying fetal tissue has merit.

    Okay, that’s all the preliminaries out of the way – but important preliminaries. I think the determination of hypocrisy here hinges on whether the fetal tissue in his 1992 study was being studied specifically because of some malady that killed the fetus (not a hypocrite) or if it was being studied for some other reason, such as it acting as a better control than adult tissue (in which case he’s a hypocrite).

    As a layman,I can’t tell from the snippets of the publication why fetal tissue was being used in his 1992 studied. At the risk of being overly repetitive, if it was being studied specifically because something about the tissue seemed to have caused the abortion of the fetus, then I think he’s not a hypocrite. If it was used for any other purpose, then he probably is a hypocrite.

    Dr. Gunter, are you able to parse what the reseach paper is saying?

    I’d love to tear him down for this, but I want to be sure it’s truly deserved. (If it’s not, there’s plenty of other stupid crap he’s done and said that can get our focus).

    Posted by Joe C | August 13, 2015, 12:11 pm
  12. Dr. Carson’s hypocrisy just keeps popping up. First (and interestingly not even brought up in the debate) was his fairly recent stance that healthcare should be in the proxy of the Government, at least in terms of Catastrophic Insurance – he also espoused Government interaction to limit insurance company’s profits. He has been quoted supporting (effectively) what the GOP once screamed was part of the ACA – “Death Panels”…and yet, he conveniently drops those views as a presumptive candidate…now this.

    I’m very disappointed in the 180 this brilliant man is able to do simply for want of votes.

    Posted by Brian | August 13, 2015, 12:34 pm
    • “I’m very disappointed in the 180 this brilliant man is able to do simply for want of votes.”

      Then people shouldn’t worry about him having no political experience…

      Posted by Mike | August 13, 2015, 12:51 pm
  13. Reblogged this on Humanist Fox.

    Posted by humanistfox | August 13, 2015, 12:41 pm
  14. As a fan of Dr Carson and someone who thinks abortion should only happen in the rarest of circumstances and at the earliest possible time of gestation, i still thank you for getting this info out into the public. I want to know everything about our candidates, especially when it may go against what they are saying.

    More information is always good. I just hope you would offer this kind of insight on any candidate and not just ones you disagree with on an issue.

    Posted by alec j | August 13, 2015, 12:44 pm
  15. Like every liberal in America, you seem to be incapable of separating your emotions from the facts. I read your blog post and Dr. Carson’s response. I don’t know of one pro-life person that is against using DEAD people or mis-carried fetuses for scientific research. Their ISSUE is that they believe that deliberately terminating a pregnancy via abortion is tantamount to murder, and to use this method to harvest scientific samples is disturbing. So, the issue is: Did Dr. Carson use fetal tissue from a mis-carried or stillborn fetus, or did he, as your blog suggest, use abortion-clinic tissues? Dr. Carson states that he used the former. Do you have ANY proof to the contrary? If so, you should post it immediately or, in the alternative, you should clarify your post. Finally, Dr. Carson is correct that the merits of fetal tissue research have been greatly overstated.

    Posted by Jogar Anderson | August 13, 2015, 12:59 pm
  16. I see a difference you are overlooking, Dr. Gunter. Every medical student works on cadavers while learning physiology and anatomy. There is also research which uses dead bodies. Most, if not all students and researchers would object to killing a human for the purposes of education or research. However, if someone were murdered for other reasons I doubt any would reject the cadaver on ethical or moral grounds. Doing research on the dead body does not equate with being ok with the cause of death. Dr. Carson’s research could have been done on naturally aborted or forcefully aborted fetuses and the fact he uses aborted fetal tissue does not mean he is ok with nore even aware of how the baby was aborted.

    Posted by Don Jones | August 13, 2015, 1:26 pm
  17. I suppose he could have had a genuine change of mind (which he has failed to make clear). Except he’s confused and confusing:

    “At 17 weeks, you’ve got a nice little nose and little fingers and hands and the heart’s beating. It can respond to environmental stimulus. How can you believe that that’s just a[n] irrelevant mass of cells? That’s what they want you to believe, when in fact it is a human being.”

    Those features are apparent long before 17 weeks. And who are “they” who claim a fetus is “just a[n] irrelevant mass of cells”? Because it is neither correct nor necessary to make such an argument in making the case for the use of fetal tissue for important research. It reads to me that he is obfuscatingly conflating with embryonic stem cell research in some broad-brush appeal to the ‘pro-life’ (= anti-choice) movement? (The emotive language is a give-away.) And if he is in any way giving the impression that abortions may be conducted in order to procure tissue for research (rather than by free and informed consent following un-coerced termination), he needs to be challenged on that. Because having previously been involved in such research, he should be aware that is not the case. (Otherwise there are ethical committees somewhere that aren’t doing their jobs properly.)

    Posted by Lee Turnpenny | August 13, 2015, 1:46 pm
  18. Dr. Gunter writes:

    “His name is on the paper so that means he had a substantive role in the research and supports the methods and findings.”

    No, it’s not that simple. The first and last authors are the significant ones on a research paper. Any authors in between have varying roles – some substantive, others insignificant. It shouldn’t be so, but it’s not uncommon for a secondary author to be listed because he/she is a good friend of the senior or first author and is getting help padding a resume. A secondary author could also have done any number of mundane tasks.

    It should also be the policy that any author have the opportunity to remove his/her name from a paper, but secondary authors often are not even given that. The senior author may have added them and figured their role was so insignificant it wasn’t worth delaying things in having them review the paper.

    Carson deserves the opportunity to explain his role in the paper. One cannot simply assume your assertion that it was substantive.

    Posted by James | August 13, 2015, 2:03 pm
  19. Dr. Jen Gunter, You said above that, “If the tissue had come from a spontaneous abortion that would have been stated in the methods section.” So it has to say in the methods section what type of abortion and why? I mean wouldn’t it be necessary to know where it came from and why? What if there were a disease or the placenta separated from the uteris? How the sample came about to the Johns Hopkins lab would need be, part of the study, correct?
    If so why did you leave that part out?

    Posted by Paul Farrell | August 13, 2015, 2:51 pm
  20. You wrote: “Many researchers depend on fetal tissue to understand and hopefully develop treatment for a myriad of conditions from blindness to HIV.”
    Can you cite any publications which have referenced the use of fetal tissue to develop any treatment which has lead to a cure for any form of blindness?

    Posted by Dr. Robert Urban | August 13, 2015, 3:35 pm
    • “hopefully develop treatment for a myriad of conditions from blindness to HIV”

      keyword is hopefully.

      Posted by Deport Donald Trump (@rowast) | August 13, 2015, 5:15 pm
    • Do your hands and eyes work? Look it up yourself. Dr. Gunter does not need to provide you with publications that are easily searchable. Your pedantic harping on irrelevant portions of her post is bordering on adolescent.

      Posted by ChariD | August 14, 2015, 7:01 am
  21. There are some who now believe that adequate research can be done without fetal tissue, though this is not yet the consensus, I believe. Back when Carson did this work, this was certainly not the case. It may also be the case that the tissue he used was from naturally occurring miscarriages, which would be entirely acceptable.

    Posted by equanimus | August 13, 2015, 4:07 pm
  22. In 1992 if he did research on aborted fetuses, the may have been spontaneous abortions, otherwise known as miscarriages… I am not trying to defend him; just trying to defend the concept of fetal tissue research…

    Posted by arminda perez | August 13, 2015, 5:30 pm
  23. Did the hospital where the research was done actually do abortions?

    Posted by dizzymissl | August 13, 2015, 5:52 pm
    • If it was Hopkins in the 90s I’d guess yes, but it would be a guess. But that doesn’t mean much of anything.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 13, 2015, 5:56 pm
      • Actually it does mean something. Fact is, you don’t know what the circumstances were concerning the two fetus’s that are in question. You wrote this, like you write everything you blog. You speculate as to what you think happened, then try to pass it on as true knowledge, and most of the time is it nothing but negative speculation without any true backing with facts. At least you finally admitted that you don’t really know, instead of continuing to pass this off as a sure fire proof that Carson used babies that were aborted for no other reason than not being wanted. I had an abortion at 20 years old, because I was already losing the baby. Once I was told that I would not successfully carry the child for any length of time, I chose to save myself from days or weeks or pain and dangerous circumstances. I only hope that my child, whom I was losing, was used to save the life of others. Now, I am curious as to why you are attacking Dr. Carson. What is the agenda? I have no doubt you have one. You don’t blog about something unless it serves a purpose for you.

        Posted by ntothat | August 13, 2015, 6:17 pm
  24. You have failed to support your thesis that fetal tissue was necessary for the research projects you mention in the opening and closing. Carson’s statement is that the fetal tissue is not necessary; your retort is only that it is actively used, suggesting that it is sufficient. Necessity is not sufficiency, and vice versa.

    You have found Carson’s name on a piece of research, without knowing what the extent of his contribution to the project was.
    The rest of this writing is purely leading questions. “When did you stop beating your wife?”.

    If you are going to point your finger, perhaps don’t do it so meekly, lest the limp finger reveal more about the hand of the speaker than the subject of the pointing.

    Posted by apullin | August 13, 2015, 6:15 pm
    • If fetal tissue wasn’t necessary for Carson’s research why use it? I read the paper, did you?

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 13, 2015, 6:59 pm
      • Yes I did and no He didn’t. Here is his statement tonight after this ridiculous attack.

        “Today I was accused by the press as having done research on fetal tissue. It simply is not true. The study they distributed by an anonymous source was done in 1992. The study was about tumors. I won’t bore you with the science. There were four doctors’ names on the study. One was mine. I spent my life studying brain tumors and removing them. My only involvement in this study was supplying tumors that I had removed from my patients. Those tissue samples were compared to other tissue samples under a microscope. Pathologists do this work to gain clues about tumors.

        I, nor any of the doctors involved with this study, had anything 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.”

        Posted by ntothat | August 13, 2015, 8:02 pm
      • The NIH link you gave doesn’t have the full text, even through the Berkeley proxy. How could I read it?

        But I did get a colleague at Stanford to nab it for me eventually. Here the the full text for others: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qsiyzczf7mh23ng/Colloid%20Cysts%20of%20the%20Third%20Ventricle%20-%20tsuchida%2092.pdf?dl=0

        The medical content of the paper is beyond my knowledge. I may be a doctor, but not not of medicine.

        The abstract indicates that the same conclusions was drawn from both the fetal and adult samples.
        The body indicates in one location that:

        > Positive staining for GST-pi was found mainly in the cytoplasm of fetal and adult choroidal epithelia, but occasional nuclear staining was identified in adult choroidal epithelia.

        That is the only differential result in the samples that I can spot, based on a reading knowledge of the subject.
        My statement still stands: you have not offered an argument that supports your core thesis vis a vis the necessity or benefit of the use of this fetal tissue in this study. The floor is yours to argue the critical necessity or benefit here.

        Other than that, this appears to be a standard Ad Hominem Tu Quoque, unless you were merely trying to demonstrate that Carson can not claim to have never used fetal tissue in any of his research. It is unfortunate that he gave something that was a half-tone of a politicians answer, and has apparently not said exactly what his role in that paper was.

        If I really wanted to reach, I would give the benefit of the doubt to Carson for his experience, and thus the exposure here really supports him and his position: he has used fetal tissue in a published, peer reviewed medical paper, and found it to not be necessary.

        Posted by apullin | August 13, 2015, 9:15 pm
    • That’s not the ‘thesis’. Why should Jen Gunter provide references to justify the use of fetal tissue in research?

      And I can’t see, ‘NTOTHAT’, that she is ‘… continuing to pass this off as a sure fire proof that Carson used babies that were aborted for no other reason than not being wanted.’ Where has she indicated that? Who has suggested that Carson ‘… had something to do with aborting a child and harvesting organs.’?

      If he has, in the interim, changed his mind, then fair enough. But it reads to me as though Carson is defensively trying to preserve his anti-abortion ‘credentials’, which might be perceived as tainted by the revelation that he was previously involved in published research that used tissue from aborted fetuses. If – if – he now considers that research on tissue samples obtained from aborted fetuses is unethical (which justifies reaction in itself), then it is fair enough to point out that he was previously satisfied with the ethical regulations applying to such research, and happy to co-author a resulting publication. (Or am I mistaken?)

      Posted by Lee Turnpenny | August 14, 2015, 6:01 am
  25. Wow! You have really turned the facts in this study. Dr. Carson removed brain tumor tissue(from patients) and pathologist compared that tissue to 2 aborted fetuses. The two aborted tissue samples were on file in a pathology lab/research lab. Your blog is rubbish.

    Posted by Marley | August 13, 2015, 7:48 pm
    • If the aborted tissue is on file that doesn’t make it less aborted.

      And it’s clear you didn’t read the paper.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 13, 2015, 8:02 pm
      • So where is your proof that he is lying and knew that they were going to be used in this study? As he said, he supplied the tumors. THAT was his participation. He was not involved in the research, just the sample tumors that were used. And reading the paper tells what the research concluded. It does not tell you who made the decision to use the fetal tissue to compare to. Dr. Carson has spent the better part of his life performing brain surgeries. He is not a research Dr. I would think that you would be thankful that he supplied the tumors for this study instead of trying to find fault in him for the use of fetal tissue that he had no say in.

        Posted by ntothat | August 13, 2015, 8:15 pm
      • Do you have a link to the full study?

        Posted by dizzymissl | August 13, 2015, 8:21 pm
      • Sorry no link. Just a PDF and not sure how to attach that as it’s not in public domain

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 13, 2015, 9:52 pm
      • You state he did research on fetal tissue…rubbish. He removed tumor tissue from his patients NOT from aborted fetuses. I think it’s irresponsible to write blogs that are full of errors such as this…especially with the whole intent to mislead readers. This will all be brought to light.

        Posted by Marley | August 13, 2015, 8:34 pm
      • His name is on a paper that used tissue from aborted fetuses. Whether he looked at that tissue himself is immaterial.

        And only contributing tissue isn’t grounds for authorship, usually that is just an acknowledgement.

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 13, 2015, 9:51 pm
      • “My only involvement in this study was
        supplying tumors that I had removed
        from my patients.
        Those tissue
        samples were
        compared to other
        tissue samples under a microscope.”

        Posted by mitcheltumuhimbise | August 13, 2015, 9:39 pm
      • Here is the complete text from the PDF, minus illustrations:
        http://pastebin.com/E0PTZBMe

        Posted by apullin | August 13, 2015, 10:19 pm
      • Dr. Gunter. I have read the paper and your comments.

        You wrote “His name is on a paper that used tissue from aborted fetuses. Whether he looked at that tissue himself is immaterial”
        Reply: You still don’t know the source of the fetal tissue…whether aborted purposely (and why), miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy etc. And, whether he looked at the tissue himself is indeed material.

        You wrote “And only contributing tissue isn’t grounds for authorship, usually that is just an acknowledgement.”
        Reply: Dr. Carson is listed as the 3rd of 4 authors. In 1992, contributing tissue was enough to warrant authorship on a paper, as the third of four authors.

        You attempt to skirt around the truth when you use words like “usually”. You either know something, or you don’t. In this case, clearly you don’t know very much.

        I have served as a referee for many peer reviewed journals, dating back to the early 1990’s.

        How many peer reviewed journals have you served as a referee for?
        If any, please name them, and the time of your service.

        Posted by Dr. Robert Urban | August 13, 2015, 10:39 pm
      • If he found fetal tissue research why be involved?

        I have been a referee on many peer reviewed journals too but that has nothing to do with the facts.

        Spin it how you want, Carson out his name on a paper that could not have existed without tissue from an aborted fetus.

        And as you’ve stopped to insults further comments of yours will be deleted. Have s nice day.

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 13, 2015, 10:45 pm
  26. “My aborted fetus research is the only moral aborted fetus research!” – Ben Carson

    Posted by Katharine | August 13, 2015, 8:34 pm
  27. Dr. Carson donated brain tumors that he had removed to this study. He was not involved with anything to do with fetal tissue. You are deliberately trying to mislead…

    Posted by Tanya | August 13, 2015, 8:49 pm
  28. Dr.Ashish Patil – Gunter can’t post the entire article due to copyright restrictions. She can only post the citation and article snapshots.

    Posted by Catherine Voutier | August 13, 2015, 10:45 pm
  29. When two sides contradict, confidence tends to diminish in at least one. A ‘Dr. Ben Carson’ Facebook post in response to an accusation of him ‘having done research on fetal tissue. It simply is not true.’ It further indicates that the study was about tumors and that ‘[his] only involvement in the study was supplying tumors that [he] had removed from [his] patients.’ The URL of the facebook post (if it works) is: https://www.facebook.com/realbencarson/posts/513020902197714 .

    Posted by Jonathan Steidel | August 14, 2015, 12:08 am
  30. Go article and nice defense

    Posted by John | August 14, 2015, 5:45 am
  31. I’m a biomedical researcher, Ph.D. rather than an M.D., but I agree with Dr. Gunter: if the tissue had come from spontaneous abortions the paper would say so, and it’s highly unlikely it would have anyway for the reasons mentioned (that it would have to have been assumed to be abnormal.) And even if Dr. Carson only contributed tissue from brain tumors, he’s an author on the paper — unless he doesn’t believe in the ethics of scientific publishing, he had to read and agree with the paper’s findings to be an author, and that amounts to endorsement of whatever methods the study involved. If he didn’t believe that research on fetal tissue obtained from abortions was ethical, he simply shouldn’t have been an author. In fact, if that were the case Dr. Carson shouldn’t have contributed the tumor tissue to his co-authors to begin with, as he should have known what they wanted it for — unless he just hands out human tissue to whomever asks for it…

    Posted by Jimbo | August 14, 2015, 6:26 am
  32. Anyway, Dr. Carson isn’t making any attempt to distance himself from the study, as seen here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/13/ben-carson-no-apologies-for-1992-fetal-tissue-research/

    Posted by Jimbo | August 14, 2015, 8:02 am

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