September 16th, 2011
05:22 PM ET

Pat Robertson makes controversial Alzheimer's claims

Pat Robertson, former presidential candidate and well-known televangelist, gave advice on his TV talk show “The 700 Club" this week that doesn't sit well with some people familiar with Alzheimer's disease.

A viewer named Andreas asked about his friend, who started seeing another woman after his wife developed Alzheimer's: "He says that he should be allowed to see other people, because his wife as he knows her is gone. I’m not sure what to tell him. Please help."

Robertson acknowledged that this is a "terribly hard thing" but also said the person in question is correct. "I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but to make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her," he said.

"Isn't that the vow we take when we marry someone, that's for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer?" his co-anchor asked.

There is the vow of "till death do us part," but Alzheimer's is "a kind of death," he said.

Time.com: Pat Robertson's worst gaffes

Paul R. Wolpe, director of the Emory Center for Ethics in Atlanta, takes issue with the idea that spouses of Alzheimer's patients don't have to have any fealty to their spouses because of the disease.

"I think he misunderstands how important emotional support is to people with Alzheimer's. Except for the most extreme and close to death people with Alzheimer's, they respond to emotional context. The emotional part of their lives is the last part to go," he said.

It's extremely therapeutic in many cases for people to maintain relationships with their spouses with Alzheimer's, he said. There are situations in which a spouse will choose to divorce a spouse with Alzheimer's or start a relationship with someone else while remaining married but will continue to remain connected to the Alzheimer's patient.

Wolpe is troubled by the idea that it's OK to abandon an Alzheimer's patient because he or she is already dead.

"I think abandoning a spouse because they have Alzheimer's is unethical. Divorcing them or not divorcing them isn't an issue to me so much; it's abandonment," he said. Robertson "did not say you have any responsibility to continue to try to support them emotionally, to visit them."

Not everyone took such a hard stance on Robertson's remarks. Beth Kallmyer, senior director of constituent services at the Alzheimer’s Association, emphasized how stressful it is for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients to watch their loved ones in this condition, which can result in their grieving for a spouse while he or she is still alive.

As for whether Alzheimer's is a kind of death, Kallmyer said she understands that some people may see it this way but said this also raises the need for education about the disease. "That person, even in the end stages, is still a person with a full history and a life that's been lived," she said.

But it can feel like the person is slowly dying. Kallmyer and colleagues get calls from caregivers who don't know how to talk to their spouses anymore. To that, she says:

"Talk to them like you used to talk to them. Do you know a favorite song that you could sing? To continue to have those conversations, and when people in the later stages are engaged with like that, there is a reaction, people react, and they can benefit from that," she said.

If you have a question or need support, call the Alzheimer's Association's 24-hour hot line at 1-800-272-3900.

soundoff (959 Responses)
  1. AqwsEncox

    best drugstore face wash us online pharmacy pharmacies

    January 10, 2021 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. KhthMile

    canadian pharcharmy med rx pharmacy best drugstore bb cream

    January 12, 2021 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. JtmfEncox

    board of pharmacy ed medications ed pills that work quickly

    January 12, 2021 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. NlbxZisse

    viagra onine viagra canada can i buy viagra over the counter in the us viagra tablets online sex shoping viagra what is the ingredients in viagra viagra free sample online viagra ships to canada using paypal buy viagra super active viagra in mexico over the counter viagra malaysia viagra trial voucher viagra sample pack viagra onelaine buy viagra on line?

    January 13, 2021 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. JvcxCrulk

    buy online viagra best generic viagra uk viagra sales online viagra generic paypal viagra onelaine viagra cana free viagra trial offer viagra 50mg tablets viagra by mail order canada buying viagra online in netherland,paypal viagra single tabs generic viagra discover viagra professional uk sex shoping viagra where to buy viagra in denver

    January 13, 2021 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. FgnhZisse

    chewing gum viagra superviagra force on line where to buy cheap viagra from an american company buy viagra in quebec where to buy viagra in toronto ordering viagra 100 mg reliable viagra reviews how to buy viagra viagra 10 pills ВЈ20 buy viagra no prescription overnight shipping buy viagraa viagra distributors online viagra trusted viagra with overnight shipping where can i get viagra overnight

    January 14, 2021 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. KlioMile

    buycheap viagra online can i buy viagra over the counter in usa brand name viagra online femaleviagra overnight pharmacy 4u viagra viagra free trial online shipping viagra to australia get perscription for viagra scottsdale az viagra from usa pharmacy viagra sydney viagra sydney viagra usa pharmacy printable viagra coupons viagra hongkong generic viagra supplier india

    January 17, 2021 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. NlbxZisse

    online buy cialis cialis black 800 to buy in the uk one pill cialis and dapoxetine canada http://cialijomen.com/ – cialis 20mg overnight ’

    January 18, 2021 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. JvcbxCrulk

    generic cialis uk online purchase cheap cialis cialis promise program http://phrcialiled.com/ – get cialis to work ’

    January 18, 2021 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. FbdhZisse

    cialis usa order generic cialis online 20 mg 20 pills overnight delivery generic cialis http://21cialismen.com/ – cialis with dapoxetine ’

    January 19, 2021 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. LcxEncox

    viagra discounr paypal online viagra buy viagra usa http://genqpviag.com/ – fastest delivery of mail order viagra ’

    January 20, 2021 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. AqbvEncox

    viagra for sale cheapest generic viagra? cheep viagra http://acialaarx.com/ – cipla viagra review ’

    January 20, 2021 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. KbctMile

    cialis order online generic cipla cialis walmart pharmacy cialis price http://mycialedst.com/ – cialis 20 mg soft ’

    January 22, 2021 at 03:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. JbdcEncox

    genaric viagra online buy generic viagra generic viagra http://llviabest.com/ – usa viagra ’

    January 22, 2021 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. NmilZisse

    viagra online without a prescription viagraaustralia viagra / cialis http://xz-pharmacyonline.com/en/career-opportunities.html – order cheap viagra online without prescription overnight shipping available ’

    January 23, 2021 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. JnhCrulk

    online cialis generic cialis no prescription cialis 20mg http://loncialis.com/ – shop for cialis ’

    January 23, 2021 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. FbgZisse

    viagra onlone viagra sales in australia viagra sale cheap https://canadianpharmacy-usx.com/organic.htm – viagra for sale pay pal ’

    January 24, 2021 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. AhmdEncox

    cialis nz cheap cialis overnight cialis buy info/ http://cialmenshoprx.com/ – cialis without rx ’

    January 25, 2021 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. KbbtMile

    how can i get cialis fast canadian prescription drugstore generic cialis from india https://xz-pharmacyonline.com – Trandate ’

    January 26, 2021 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. FmfvEncox

    purchase cialis cialis walmart cialis without a prescription http://sjcialis.com/ – viagra/cialis packs ’

    January 27, 2021 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. NgscZisse

    viagra cost uk viagra soft tabs where can i buy viagra over the counter in usa http://canadianpharmacy-yy.com/Fitness/how-to-get-a-six-pack.html – female viagra medicine price in india ’

    January 28, 2021 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. JnscCrulk

    is viagra from india safe ? viagra black viagra online pharmacy australia http://erectilejyzd.com/index.php?called=terms – viagra 20mg tablets price ’

    January 28, 2021 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. FhnhZisse

    canadian pharmacy review prescription prices comparison prescription pricing https://canadianpharmacy-yy.com/ – online pharmacies no prescription ’

    January 29, 2021 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. AhmdEncox

    cialis generic reviews cvs pharmacy online coupons for cialis https://impotencecdny.com/ – Enalapril ’

    January 30, 2021 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. KbbgMile

    viagraorviagra walmart online pharmacy viagra online without a prescription http://erectilejyzd.com/ – viagra canada ’

    January 31, 2021 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. FmnfEncox

    cialis en mexico purchase cheap cialis cialis before and after pictures https://impotencecdny.com/info/history.php – how can i get cialis in australia ’

    February 2, 2021 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. FqhhEncox

    canadian pharmacy drugs online pharmeasy no prior prescription required pharmacy

    February 3, 2021 at 09:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. NncsZisse

    purchase generic viagra use paypal to buy viagra? indian viagra reviews

    February 3, 2021 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. LbsxEncox

    canadian pharmacy without prescription purchasing generic viagra using a paypal account canada pharmacy

    February 5, 2021 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. JbnbCrulk

    prescription prices comparison canadian rx pharmacy online pharmacy without dr prescriptions

    February 5, 2021 at 03:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. KbcxMile

    canadadrugs pharmacy pharmacies shipping to usa canada prescriptions drugs

    February 6, 2021 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. AhkdEncox

    cheap canadian drugs online pharmacy without prescription canadian pharmacy cialis

    February 6, 2021 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. JbbvEncox

    canadia online pharmacy trusted overseas pharmacies allergy

    February 6, 2021 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. zortilo nrel

    Great blog! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am taking your feeds also


    February 7, 2021 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. http://www.fokuszpalyazat.hu/

    A person essentially help to make seriously articles I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I amazed with the research you made to create this particular publish incredible. Great job!


    February 9, 2021 at 04:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. FvfcZisse

    generic viagra northwest pharmaceuticals canada viagra, paypal

    February 9, 2021 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. AqcfTeneseelt

    order cialis brand cheap real cialis generic cialis by mastercard

    February 9, 2021 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. FqbbEncox

    payday loans shops brixton payday loan for bad credit no fees payday loan 83814

    February 10, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Bryannqa

    astrology prediction with regards to aug 25

    each of horoscope signs produce type of noteworthy characteristics and also traits and also this determine someone. Wouldn it be of use if you commenced manufactured by using actually knowing about what participating arrive? read on recognize if the odds is definitely with your favour currently.

    Aries (March 21 April 20): an increase or increment shouldn't be eliminated to the salaried. Businesspersons are likely to resurrect this business showing a downward movement. others suffering lethargic in the past few days can get enchancment in form. a member of family may have to be completed patience. possibilities of a weight vacation check out idealistic. venture into the house and property home market might just show abundant. several you'll probably falter regarding educative front. a is looking to get usually are significantly, you are determined to get methods the particular core fancies right now.

    Taurus (April 21 may perhaps possibly 20): troubles in the office receives grouped on by developing Chinese women online a older get involved. very own reluctance to have a tremor a arm and employ might a good idea. good income is confident for the purpose of suppliers in addition to the money brokerages. you can something fascinating involving everyone in your house. advantageous improvement foreseen for enterprise a ride. getting belongings this will be an idea. something that you have seasoned concerning tutorial front comes into play for much happiness. that level of popularity is probably going to sky rocket both on the personal or skilled professional methodologies.

    devotion direct: Your relationship is usually all rewarding just like you allow you to draw really the only you care about more detailed.

    purchasing design: white colored

    houses Alphabet: v

    genial stats: 9, 6, 3

    unthreatening Zodiac at this time: Scorpio Leo

    be careful of: Aquarius

    Gemini (could 21 Jun 21): Is just foreseen business owners in addition create businesspersons trying that they are. extra cash rescued when it comes to property or home on something pointless probably will demonstrate a problem. your fearful nearly their medical evaluations definitely heave a sigh because of help, as they quite seem to be well suited. expending value period that includes family can be done perfect now which enables it to strengthen togetherness. opportunity to travel away on a state quest is probably for some serious.

    enjoy focus your attention on: relationship is over the cargo box and probably will inspire a person to sally on in the tender front.

    grateful color choice: Saffron

    fortunate Alphabet: l

    advantageous volume: 8, 12

    good Zodiac right away: Capricorn Libra

    be careful of: Taurus

    many forms of cancer (Jun 22 July 22): your main state of mind are often higher, As a constant business revolves making money. moon foretell certainty in spending front. a modification involved with meals can certainly help in cutting down on demand. rest and relaxation definitely is foreseen for few and gone will be the more advantageous apartment as opposed to your house awesome for any. may well be your chance for your travelling to another hometown on something in touch with your path. a person's correct system will help mend real estate particles and organisms amicably. your actual partner radius brings you psychologically and mentally,demonstrative home security with regards to the educative front.

    February 10, 2021 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. NbnhZisse

    buy viagra for female brand viagra online australia viagra india buy

    February 11, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. LabxEncox

    cialis sustancia how long does cialis 20 mg take to work what's better cialis or viagra

    February 11, 2021 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. KvaxMile

    cash loans for blacklisted in cape town hard money loan books speedy cash installment loan rates

    February 13, 2021 at 07:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. AhbzEncox

    payday loan companies in birmingham al bad check to payday loan company skrill moneybookers loan

    February 13, 2021 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. JbbnEncox

    existe un generico de cialis cialis zu verkaufen cialis quando va preso

    February 13, 2021 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. FbsgZisse

    buy shop cialis 20mg http://llecialisjaw.com/ whats better cialis viagra or levitra

    February 17, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. AbcfTeneseelt

    viagra gum viagra generic 50 mg viagra no prescription

    February 18, 2021 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. tadalafil daily use

    what is erectafil tadalafil generic tadalafil benefits

    February 21, 2021 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. NbmoZisse

    cialis on line generic cialis from india cialis

    February 26, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. viagra cost

    https://genericviagragog.com order viagra online

    February 27, 2021 at 06:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. KndnMile

    how much does viagra cost at walmart natural alternatives to viagra where to buy viagra online

    February 28, 2021 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Leave a Reply to Mala Sangre


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.