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. marve1

    According to several polls back in 2009 and another in 2002, approximately 82% of Americans call themselves Christians. Unfortunately, in our Christian nation we see the same bigotry and hatefulness that we would find anywhere else around the world where Christianity is not the predominant religion or it is not even practiced. In other words, claiming to be of the Christian faith hasn’t really helped us much in being like Christ. Pat Robertson is a case in point. So are so many of the people who post hateful remarks against the president because, as a part African-American with a foreign last name, he is not considered a Christian. Christians in America hold the badge of honor of opposing abortion. However, after the child is born, Christian groups support politicians who seek to take away any form of financial support to these children once they’re born. And when these abused / neglected children become delinquents, Christian groups vociferously support politicians who seek to lock them up execute them for their misdeeds. Christians in America speak about faith in God but they’re the same ones who support the proliferation of guns in the streets. If one believes in carrying a weapon for ‘self-defense’, where is the supposed faith in God?

    Where is Christ in Christianity? Does anyone really care? It appears that in spending so much time in being ‘good Christians’, there is no room for being ‘Christ-like’. In Christianity as professed and practiced in the U.S., there is no Christ - just the ‘anity’.

    September 17, 2011 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tricia

      Dan, I hope you are checking back on this article/comments. How do you know that President Obama is not Christian? What actions tell a different story?

      September 17, 2011 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • Parker

      George W. Bush said he was a "Christian". How many died because of his decisions? Since he was not tried as a war criminal, I expect he will be judged in accordance with how he lived his life, He didn't accidentally kill anyone, he did it on purpose, with planning, and with no hint of Christianity entering into the decision making process.

      September 17, 2011 at 21:07 | Report abuse |
    • scarls

      Dan is probably just mad at President Obama because he referenced the '67 borders in a speech.

      September 17, 2011 at 22:24 | Report abuse |
    • Susan Connecticut

      I agree.....true Christians, no matter what the denomination, should try to emulate Jesus, the Christ. What we see a lot in people proclaiming themselves as Christian today is certainly not that. We are all Children of God and should treat each other as such. We are Stewards of the Earth and should do all we can to protect and preserve it for future generations.

      I do not understand all of the divisive politics going on at the moment – it ultimately serves no one.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:18 | Report abuse |
    • JOregon

      Probably more than 82% of Christians have figured Pat Robertson to be a false prophet, so what's the point?

      September 18, 2011 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
    • James

      Seems like there are a small percentage of people who I would consider true Christians, with the majority using their faith to justify doing whatever the heck they want.

      September 18, 2011 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • Buddy

      marve1: very well said. I'm agnostic (yes, 'I don't know' is a valid answer to the question of the existence of a higher being), but I fully respect people's faith. If you don't mind, I'm going to start plastering your words all over the web.

      September 18, 2011 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • SouthernCelt

      Christianity has had the same problem since Jesus died on the Cross. People who claim to be Christian frequently do not act like it. Among the promises made to God and each other during the marriage ceremony I recall "For Better or Worse" and "Love, Honor and Cherish until parted by death". My parents did this and so will I. It's too bad Mr Robertson has forgotten what he promised God and his wife, but it's not the first time a Protestant has been wrong about something :-).

      September 18, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
    • A Wife and Mother

      Ghandi said something on the subject of certain "Christians" –
      "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

      September 18, 2011 at 17:07 | Report abuse |
    • Dill Weed

      It's 5 AM. Do you know haw fat your kids are?

      September 18, 2011 at 17:12 | Report abuse |
    • Steve Lyons

      Former President Bush has killed off an entire generation of American's by sending them to Iraq and Afghanistan...I sure would hate to be him on Judgement Day !!!!!

      September 18, 2011 at 22:27 | Report abuse |
    • Barb

      I agree. Claiming to be pro-life,but then not being interested in sustaining life seems very hypocritical.

      September 19, 2011 at 00:17 | Report abuse |
    • JackieB

      I absolutely agree that most people who espouse Christianty are completely unchristian in their behaviour towards others- if they truly practiced what Jesus Christ preached then we would see a completely different society- its soooooo easy to say "I am a Christian" and then just carry on being selfish, cruel, unkind and uncaring

      September 19, 2011 at 07:24 | Report abuse |
    • Fupped Duck

      For once I finally agree with Pat.......Now I can die in peace. He is the one with Old Timers Disease.

      September 19, 2011 at 08:30 | Report abuse |
  2. Liqmaticus

    Pat is a fraud and always has been. I am a Christian and know not to listen to this nut job.

    September 17, 2011 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lorettabetta

      he's not only a fraud but an evil, evil man, especially so since he cloaks himself in the garb of religion. if there's a hell, he'll probably be surprised to be seated at the right side of satan. or, maybe not too surprised.....

      September 18, 2011 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
  3. AJ

    Alzheimers is being described as "Type 3 Diabetes".....just keep eating all those carbs (i.e. sugar)....and watch your memory slip away faster and faster.

    Our paleo ancestors only had limited sugar (fruit only 'in season') and never had grains. They were taller, healther and lived just as long...AMAZING given the fact that they had no medical knowledge.

    Dementia, obesity, ADHD, balding, depression, alzheimers, etc,.....not a paleolithic disorder.

    Slice of bread anyone?

    September 17, 2011 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Captain

      Please provide ONE piece of scientific evidence for this statement. If you can then I'll donate my life savings to prove you are wrong. Since you are obviously remiss of any concept of the scientific method and without any knowledge of biology I'll save you the effort; THERE IS NONE!!!!

      September 17, 2011 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
    • McBain05

      Not even close, AJ.

      They were not necessarily taller and certainly did not live longer.

      In band society (paleo, if you will) the average lifespan was about 40 years old. You are correct that they were afflicted by fewer diseases than their sedentary descendants that would eventually develop the agrarian society. Not only that, but the hunter-gatherer typically had much more free time beyond subsistence activities. Typically, they "worked" about 20 hours a week to provide sustenance and create necessary tools for subsistence activities.

      September 18, 2011 at 08:48 | Report abuse |
    • Moderation

      Most people who eat their favorite carbs in moderation still live a lengthy life. Why is it that people who choose to never enjoy chocolate chip cookies nor fettuccine alfredo nor even brown rice (a grain) with vegetables try to convince other people to live without as well? Not even fruit salad, AJ? Moderation is the key, and you can still enjoy food. But you go ahead and enjoy your boring boring diet. Please leave us out of it.

      September 18, 2011 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
    • Robert G.

      I think you are right on about the sugar AJ. My mother in law's doctor told her to stop eating anything that's WHITE, to stick to the colors of the rainbow. For example she cut out her regular diet of white potatoes and tries to eat sweet potatoes a few times a week, a white potato is a treat now and then only. Seeing sugar as the enemy and avoiding WHITE foods because they are starchy and loaded with sugar has helped her to start losing weight and she's feeling better. I think there's hope if people will act on your message and make a few simple changes to their diet.

      September 18, 2011 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
    • lorettabetta

      don't know what YOU'VE been reading, but our ancient ancestors were NOT taller, or healthier and at some stages of man's evolution, 30 was considered quite elderly.

      if you're going to say something, at least have the stuff to back it up, please.

      September 18, 2011 at 14:22 | Report abuse |
    • James

      Where do you even get this bunk? Sure too much carbs can be bad, so can too much of anything else. Live longer? Hardly, it wasn't until the last 100 years or so that it has been common to reach 60, and earlier on 40 was pushing it. Taller? People today are significantly taller than they have been in the past. Alzheimers, ADHD, depression, they weren't paleo diseases because nobody knew what they were. People thought it was possession by demons, witch had cast a spell, etc.

      September 18, 2011 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      I'd hardly call 30 years of age as living just as long as we do today on average. It's also been called the worst diet ever.

      September 18, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
    • charls

      Allen – Before 1900, many people died at a very early age due to diseases that are now prevented by vaccines. If you reached 65 in 1900, you could expect to live to 76.9. If you reached 65 in 1997, you could expect to live to 82.7. So all of the medical advances of 97 years only added another 5.9 years to your life. I am not saying that medical advances are not wonderful but the overall effect has been relatively small. The really big increase in life expectancy is due to vaccines and avoiding an early death. Improved nutrition, sanitation and public health improvements has also added greatly to most people being able to reach 65. Living in a country where you can drink clean water probably has a bigger effect upon your health than all of the medicine in the world.

      September 18, 2011 at 22:32 | Report abuse |
    • JackieB

      AJ you're really talking a great deal of rubbish- my dad had Alzeimhers and I can assure you it had nothing to do with his so called siet of sugar and grains- and frankly is completely simplistic to state that ancient man lived longer and healthier and better than we do today, there is NO scientific proof whatsoever, there are just some theories about how our ancestors lived

      September 19, 2011 at 07:28 | Report abuse |
  4. baronsternberg

    Pat is the perfect example of a favorite saying of mine:

    "Europeans know what Christianity is and have willfully turned their backs on it. Americans believe what they want and call it Christianity."

    September 17, 2011 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tricia


      September 17, 2011 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • Berat

      Posted on I teach pottery, and I still have some faieurls. It gets better over time; I promise!It's too bad that the firing didn't work. Did you wedge your clay enough to get all of the air bubbles out before you made a slab? Sometimes, glazes just get weird in the kiln too. Unpredictable things can happen with ceramics, so it's very important to not get too attached. (My first ceramics professor had us destroy our first project to teach us this lesson.)

      October 13, 2012 at 23:19 | Report abuse |
  5. Akira

    Gotta love Pat Robertson. He never passes the opportunity to make an ass of himself on national television.

    September 17, 2011 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charmagne

      I could not have said it better myself! What could he possibly be thinking. I wonder.......if his wife were to start sleeping with another man after he got ill, would that be acceptable?

      September 18, 2011 at 08:56 | Report abuse |
  6. Larry

    once again Pat Robertson shows himself to be less than the man he claims to be, a man of God
    for anyone to still hold this man in any regard is beyond me to understand

    September 17, 2011 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Justeen

    I refuse to call myself a 'Christian' because many Christians are just a complete embarassment to the name. I prefer to call myself a 'believer' and I believe Pat Robertson is senile.

    September 17, 2011 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mabel floyd

      madam justeen-you are correct!!!
      this man is a joke of a human being
      the people who follow him are desperate idiots!!!

      September 17, 2011 at 20:35 | Report abuse |
    • EuphoriCrest

      "Senile" just means he's old, perhaps you meant "demented"?

      September 17, 2011 at 23:32 | Report abuse |
    • Charmagne


      September 18, 2011 at 08:57 | Report abuse |
    • Buddy

      EuphoriCrest: "Senile" just means he's old, perhaps you meant "demented"?

      Actually, senile is defined as having or showing the weaknesses or diseases of old age, esp. a loss of mental faculties. Perhaps you meant not to show your ignorance?

      Google is free.

      September 18, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Robertson

      Buddy: ALL old people are senile, though not all old people exhibit dementia. Senile (from the Latin) Sen: Old, Senex: Old man. Because of the term "Senile Dementia" the word "Senile", by itself, has taken on the negative connotations characteristic of the demented elderly, however, this is an incorrect usage of the original meaning of the word.

      September 20, 2011 at 03:36 | Report abuse |
  8. Cheri

    I know of some cases where a spouse of an afflicted person has divorced their mate and then adopted them instead. This means they can go ont to have a new relationship and continue to love and care for the sick person as a critically ill dependant. Seems like a realistic solution to me.

    September 17, 2011 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ardie

      You have to be kidding! Adopt my husband and discard him?

      September 17, 2011 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
    • Cheri

      How does "love and care for" = "discard" ?

      September 17, 2011 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      "Adopted"? So if people are in that kind of condition they shouldn't be treated like adults anymore? Adults who need special care are still adults.

      September 18, 2011 at 01:14 | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      I'm with Ardie on this one–I married my husband while saying "through sickness and in health", and I would never leave him when he needed me the most. I know he feels the same way. Anyone who sees divorce as an option for Alzheimer's is cold-hearted and shouldn't be married in the first place. I've taken care of hundreds of Alzheimer's patients, and one thing I can promise you is, even though they may not know necessarily who you are all the time, the support and love provided from a spouse or family member is key to their well being. How cruel that anyone should choose to leave the person they swore to love forever when an ugly disease rears its head.

      September 18, 2011 at 01:41 | Report abuse |
    • DCW

      Julie: the "sickness and health" you spoke of, that also means YOUR sickness and health. Why do people want to leave themselves out of the responsibility of contributing to a healthy marriage because they are the afflicted? If a disabled person is capable of finding a way to give more, they should; if they can't it's wrong to let a marriage die, treat a spouse as a hired nursemaid. they are disabling the healthy person who IS capable of having a normal life. Is that right? Everyone is saying it's morally wrong for the healthy spouse to leave the disabled spouse–to break their "vows". isn't it just as morally wrong for the disabled spouse to no longer fulfill their spousal role when they said in their vows they would? Everyone defends the disabled in this case, and this is one time I think it should be left up to the two spouses and other people stay out of it. You who are judging are doing so from the seat of a healthy life. Try being the spouse of a disabled person who cannot or will not contribute to the marriage so that it even resembles a marriage. You might think differently. I know of a man who divorced his wife with this disease but has not abandoned her. Though remarried, he supports her, visits her, gives HER as much as SHE'S capable of receiving. This isn't about YOU or your opinions. This is about what's happening between two spouses. I consider myself a believer also, so for you judgmental Christians out there who are telling us to emulate Christ, when Jesus told the men to get their donkey out of the ditch on the Sabbath, was he telling them to sin, or that it's ok to sin in certain instances? Or was he telling them that the spirit of the law allows for what the letter of the law does not? Who are we as individuals to judge what is necessary for life, whether it be a donkey or a functional human relationship?

      September 18, 2011 at 13:36 | Report abuse |
  9. elizabeth

    It is not ok for me to abandon my dog, but its ok to leave a spouse because they have a Alzheimeirs disease, what's next I can't cope with cancer so I can leave them too. My father's mind may be going, but he is still very much alive and is a person deserving of love and care. I sure hope Pat Robertson's wife doesn't get sick.

    September 17, 2011 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • James

      I don't disagree, but people abandon their spouses for far less serious issues, often as simple as they're bored and the grass is greener on the other side. People abandon pets all the time, go to a local shelter and ask. It's sad how many are just tired of taking care of the animal so they ditch it.

      September 18, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
  10. The_Mick

    Considering how Pat can make up or distort history on the fly and care one iota that he's misleading people, it's no wonder he figures an Alzheimer's patient needs no loyalty either.

    September 17, 2011 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Mei

    Wow! When I saw the news story, (and the clip, Suzette) I didn't give it much thought. Another televangelist, saying something contrary to what Jesus preached – big yawn! Now I've read all the comments. End of life dignity was brought up, and you're right, there is no dignity for a patient with this disease. But there is an opportunity for the loved and loving family to display, and learn, and show dignity in their response. Maybe Pat didn't say "abandon the desperately ill", but what he did say was just as bad. "She's aready gone", implying that she might as well be dead, so just get the legal mumbo-jumbo out of the way, and move on with your life. The guy was admittedly already cheating, so it's unlikely he'll look back and see that he handled this situation with a total lack of grace and character. And what about the woman he's cheating with? She should be wondering about a future with this jerk!

    September 17, 2011 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DCW

      How many of you who are condemning the healthy spouse are in the same situation? Hm? You all are spouting out venom toward this guy while believing yourselves incapable of the same thing. Time will tell. How many of you live with a spouse who doesn't believe you are who you say you are, spews venom at you, becomes mean and cruel, literally fights you when you're trying to help them, bathe them, feed them, comfort them? That isn't marriage. That's a human being trying to care for a very sick human being and if it's lacking in dignity for the afflicted, it's also lacking dignity for the spouse who's also trying to survive the awful disease. Do two sufferings make it right? Is that it? Let's face it, most of us who were crazy in love, stood before a preacher, made vows and promises to each other (that aren't necessarily a biblical requirement), how many would have still done that if they could have seen where they would be 40 years down the road? When we marry, we make promises we don't know that we can actually keep. Our bad, we're human. This argument isn't about what we should all be doing based on a million different opinions. Make the decision that's right for you and your spouse, and let others do the same, even if it's not the same decision you made. If you want to be Christ-like, try embracing more compassion, understanding and empathy. And not just for the disabled.

      September 18, 2011 at 13:50 | Report abuse |
  12. Allen K. Golden

    What happens if the spouse recovers from Alzheimer's disease? With the efforts being made to slow down Alzheimer's and the never ending effort to find a cure it may be possible that the spouse will be better and then what happens? http://bit.ly/pcveaR

    September 17, 2011 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Neil

    To those stupid comments that Mr. Obama is not a Christian... NUTS to you. That's why christianity is not about Christ. He'd throw all you bums out.

    To Mr. Robertsons...yer an ass

    September 17, 2011 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Dan Ari

    This isn't news. All the work by scientists despite limited funding is news. The tiny sliver of of money toward this disease when compared to the spending on war is news. On moron is not news.

    September 17, 2011 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Chris

    Pat Robertson has always had Alzheimer's. To his followers: Head his words and abandon him!

    September 17, 2011 at 23:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Gina

    Regarding the possibility that Alzheimer's is related to diabetes and/or excess intake of carbs: it has been known for awhile that diabetics have more risk of Alzheimer's. Obesity is another risk factor for Alzheimer's.

    A new treatment for Alzheimer's being developed is intranasal insulin, which delivers the insulin directly to the brain, bypassing the rest of the bloodstream. The results so far are very promising.

    September 17, 2011 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SouthernCelt

      Empirical evidence to the contrary. Mom's family has lot's of Diabetics, and no Alzheimer's or any other form of Dementia. Dad's side, however, has Alzheimer's for multiple generations but no Diabetes.

      September 18, 2011 at 16:58 | Report abuse |
  17. Patricia

    What a jerk!!!! I would never think of divorcing my husband because of his health. How Christian of him to say to do that.....didn't know you get to pick and choose what part of your marriage vows you wanted to keep. In sickness and in health till death do us part means just that.

    September 17, 2011 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. daphnola

    Wow, this is a pastor, a man who raises all heck over marriage between a man and a woman only and about traditional family values right? Doesn't that include in sickness and health, divorce shouldnt be an out when a partner is ill, he's pretty much saying abandon the spouse because she's of no use to you any longer and is no a burden. He's a horrible person...

    September 18, 2011 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Andrew

    If you are a Christian and you take a vow of marriage, there is no such thing as divorce. The Bible – the word of God by God to mankind clearly does not allow for divorce. But we do it anyway. Our hypocrisy knows no limits. Pat Robertson simply enjoys the podium he has been given to spew his limited views on life. His views are not the views of Christ. He is nothing like Christ.

    September 18, 2011 at 01:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jennifer

      What about persisting in adultery? What if an unbelieving spouse files for divorce?

      September 18, 2011 at 01:09 | Report abuse |
    • SouthernCelt

      Divorce is discouraged, but allowed given human nature. What is denied, primarily by Catholic Christians these days, is remarriage after Divorce.

      September 18, 2011 at 17:01 | Report abuse |
  20. Jennifer

    The Christian community is too liberal about divorce. People look for excuses to expand the list of reasons to divorce. People change for a lot of different reasons, so if you're going to say that Alzheimer's is a type of death, then you have to excuse divorce for change in general. People lack integrity and self-sacrifice these days. I'm disappointed to see Pat Robertson join this fad of selfishness and low integrity.

    September 18, 2011 at 01:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. SSE

    Interesting. In terms of how Mr. Robertson defines life and death, what is the difference between an Alzheimer's sufferer and an unborn fetus? Is an Alzheimer's sufferer really less alive than an unborn child? Neither can think for himself but apart from the mental capacity, I don't see much difference between the biological function of a fetus and an 85-year-old with Alzheimer's. Can we now view the unborn child in the first or second trimester as "a kind of death?"

    September 18, 2011 at 02:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. jzaks

    This guy is a nut case. Tells you something about the people that follow him like the sheep they are.

    September 18, 2011 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Anita

    I enjoy watching the 700 club because it offers Christian World News. Pat Robertson often gives inappropriate Biblical advice – for example: the scripture he uses when he is asking for donations, Luke 6:18, "give and it shall be given unto you...," if he only read the sentence before that one he would clearly see that Jesus was not talking about money at all but forgiveness. I am certain that God forgives Pat for his MANY misinterpretations, but folks, Pat knows the Bible well, but he in my opinion has never had a TRUE encounter with God because I can look at any given show in which he gives advice and show you where he is mistaken about his interpretation of the Bible in one form or another.

    September 18, 2011 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. James Turner

    I was Married to a Lovely and Beautiful Women who developed liver Cancer. To Me my Marriage Vow was one given from My Heart and my Wife's illnes allowed me to express my Love. True Love has no Boundry when Giving and Caring.

    September 18, 2011 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Rachel

    Dying and death are two COMPLETELY different things bucko! Get a life. @james turner – Way to go! we need more people like that in this cruel world...

    September 18, 2011 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Barbara

    All I can say is God help him . He is suppose to be a man of God leading the people instead of pointing them toward hell.

    Go There With You
    (Steven Curtis Chapman © 1992)

    I know you've heard me say these words before
    But every time I say I love you the words mean something more.
    I spoke them as a promise right from the start
    I said death would be the only thing that could tear us apart.
    And now that you are standing on the edge of the unknown
    I love you means I'll be with you wherever you must go.

    I will take a heart whose nature is to beat for me alone
    And fill it up with you–make all your joy and pain my own.
    No matter how deep a valley you go through
    I will go there with you.

    And I will give myself to love the way love gave itself for me
    And climb with you to mountaintops or swim a raging sea.
    To the place where one heart is made from two
    I will go there with you.

    I see it in your tears–you wonder where you are
    The wind is growing colder and the sky is growing dark.
    Though it's something neither of us understands
    We can walk through this together if we hold each other's hand.
    I said for better or worse I'd be with you
    So no matter where you're going I will go there, too.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Susan

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! Those words brought me to tears, but they are "good tears". Basically, this is what my husband has said to me in so many ways, but some people just don't get it! Obviously, you do. God bless you.
      Susan...diagnosed with Multidomain Prodromal Alzheimers, August 17, 2011.

      September 18, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
  27. DPC

    He is a Christian leader that gave an answer that completely goes against this faith......As an unbeliever I think his answer is fine...But if I were a Christian I would not support this man...I think he is the one who wants to build a Christian theme park in Israel...He is a businessman looking out for #1...If I were his wife, I would not trust him and would be taking good care of myself.

    September 18, 2011 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Ted Haggard

    Listening to Pat Robertson talk about Alzheimer's is like listing to a Christian talk about compassion.
    It makes no sense whatsoever.

    September 18, 2011 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lane

      If Jesus was with us today to hear the christen right preachers he would puke on his sandals , Seeing how his teachings are distorted

      September 18, 2011 at 22:47 | Report abuse |
  29. David Daniels

    I think Pat Robertson is having a touch of the Alzheimer's and forgetting his first Love, the Bible and Jesus Christ. Nothing he said in this case lines up with what the Bible says is Gods picture of covanant or marriage, Sometimes if you do not really know what to say to help a situation it's just better to remain silent. At least you wont be misleading the one you are interfacing with.

    September 18, 2011 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Carol

    Sounds like Robertson doesn't know the difference between death and sort of death. " For better or worse" is what it is. The worse = Alzheimers. Living with Alzheimers doesn't = death. Time to retire Robertson.

    September 18, 2011 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Robert G.

    Let's abandon Pat and let him provide for his own custodial care.

    September 18, 2011 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. mantra

    I'll say this, if a spouse becomes a "Christian" like Pat that would certainly be grounds for divorce.

    September 18, 2011 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Buddy

    When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, for 5 years my father never left her side. It was tremendously stressful for him, but he survived the experience – and without any sort of religion. My parents were together for 50+ years. The thought of divorce never entered his mind when she became ill and he was determined to see it through, with her. When she finally passed, I was very worried for him because I thought the stress would have turned into depression. It did a for a bit, but 6 months later he found himself new girlfriend and they are like two peas in a pod. He's the happiest I've seen him in 6 years.

    This goes to show that NOT having 'faith' doesn't necessarily equal devoid of ethics, love or reason. I believe it takes a very mentally strong person to deal with a trying situation and not turn to an imaginary being for support.

    September 18, 2011 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. SheilaKA

    Mr. Robertson has demonstrated a remarkably shallow understanding of what marriage is to most Christians. I'm apalled. Why go to the altar in a church and promise "in sickness and in health" if you are going there with reservations in your mind?

    September 18, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. lived it

    Last Christmas we lost my mother to Alzheimers and my father still misses her every day. He did everything for her until he had a heart attack and couldn't look after her but once she was in a nursiing home he made sure that he was there with her every day, he painted her finger nails for her, brushed her hair and would sit for hours just holding her hand. At the end when she didn't know any of her children, she knew him and the last words she could say were "You came". She always knew who he was. He once said to me, "I made a vow and I will never break it." I don't care what your religion is, religion shouldn't impact how we love and care or each other. My dad is my hero because of the love he had for my mother, he put his life on hold to spend his days with her and he misses her terribly. Abandoning someone because they have a disease is a terrible terrible thing that should never happen.

    September 18, 2011 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply

      I'm sorry your mom had Alzhimers and you and the family had to deal with it, but I was touched by the story of your dad helping her and staying with her. It was very moving.

      September 18, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
  36. Didelphis325

    My mom died from Alzheimers 5 years ago. My dad cared for her at home until a month before she died in a nursing home. He passed almost a year ago. One of the last things my dad taught me was what loving one's spouse is all about. I won't judge other folks but I have no doubt that my father loved my mother. All else fades into meaninglessness. I am grateful for that lesson and told him as much before he died..

    September 18, 2011 at 16:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Bikerchk

    'Till DEATH do us part. That is what I promised. That is what I'll do. Pat Robertson is EVIL personified. Andreas' "friend" is committing adultery. And if he divorces his wife, it's abandonment. He should be ashamed of himself. Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong. This is just plain WRONG.

    September 18, 2011 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. A Wife and Mother

    That is a dilema I hope I never have to face. My mother died with dementia; and by the end she didn't know any of her children and thought she had never been married. What I do know is that if I was a spouse dying of Alzheimers, I would not go to Pat Robertson for advice. I would search my own heart and get help from my local clergy if I felt I needed it.

    September 18, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. MC

    Much as I detest this guy, he makes a point worth considering. When your spouse is truly "gone" (as my father was for years), is it a crime to want a partner you can talk to, do things with, and love like a spouse? He did mention making sure your spouse has proper care, etc. But would it be a crime to care for a spouse who's mind has gone, either one on one or with health care providers, and also have a new relationship at the last phase of your life? Seems like the one thing that could make the situation bearable. My father was OUT for years, pretty much comatose -his mind was GONE. If my mother had chosen to date someone, even while dad's body was alive... I would have understood.

    September 18, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      There's no reason why you can't do both. You can continue to assist and help care for your ailing spouse, and also start seeing someone new romantically, who can provide you positive emotional enrichment. Obviously, you need to let your new love interest know about the issue, but I don't see how it's unlike a single-parent starting to date again.

      Robertson is right in that the person you knew is gone, but he's wrong if he's condoning simply abandoning that person. The spouse with Alzheimer's may just take on a new role.

      As for whether the marriage is dissolved or not, that's primarily a legal issue.

      September 18, 2011 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
  40. Denise

    As usual the "christians" are not very christian at all are they?

    September 18, 2011 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Dirtbag Detector

    " In sickness and health, til DEATH do us part". Robertson is a joke.

    Just like this joker: http://imgur.com/gallery/iX6GP

    September 18, 2011 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Rebecca S.

    Pat Robertson obviously has a view that, in my opinion, comes from the "secular world." When it is no longer convenient or rewarding, walk away and get a "new model." Has Pat Robertson ever had anyone he loved with Alzheimer's Disease? Could he really walk away from someone after taking the vow of "until death do us part?" Wow. I do not know Pat Robertson but, in the past, I have always respected his thoughts. In this case, he is unenlightened on the life of the Alzheimer patient and, as the secular world says it, "clueless." I feel sorry for him. To make a statement that it is okay to divorce an Alzheimer's patient because they are already "dead" is irresponsible and shows that he really does not understand that they do feel and they still are there. You just lost my respect, Pat!

    September 18, 2011 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Gavin Ford

    Pat Robertson is a hateful, myth-believing idiot. Who cares what he says about anything?

    September 18, 2011 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jiu

      Posted on I was totally thnnikig volcano too!!! OMG I was laughing so hard at your story very familiar. 🙂 I swear, my son's bd is coming up next week and I'm very tempted to BUY (what?!?!?!?) treats this year. Last year I went for the cute cake baked into an ice cream cone and it was a huge disaster

      October 11, 2012 at 20:04 | Report abuse |
  44. Roscoe

    Matthew 7:15-20 says it best: 15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to YOU in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits YOU will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit; 18 a good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits YOU will recognize those [men].

    September 18, 2011 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. LouAz

    Why is this "story" or "article" in the CNN Health Section. Pat Robertson and anything he says should be in the CNN Belief Blog along with all the other Jeebus, and voodoo, and hoodoo, and doodoo. My cat has as much knowledge as this money grubber . . .

    September 19, 2011 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Phil

    Please keep the religious comments out of this. No amount of belief makes something a fact.

    September 19, 2011 at 03:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 60minuteman

    I think this old turd must have alzheimer's. I think it is time to discard him.

    September 19, 2011 at 04:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. larry05

    People give money to this guy?????

    September 19, 2011 at 06:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Platypus

    Imagine this stupid Robertson as president of the USA! The most moron human being on this planet since Emperor Neron of Rome.

    September 19, 2011 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Christiangirl35

    Whatever happened to "In sickness and in health?" Pat Robertson is an idiot. I question his Christianity.

    September 19, 2011 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ananas

      Donnalin Posted on Stumbled upon your blog and I LOVE it!!! Gives me the courage to keep on tyrnig even though most of my crafty ideas look sooooo much better in my head you inspire me LOL!!!! Have a great one.

      October 11, 2012 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
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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.