BY JENNIFER LONG
ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY
Is it still cheating if your wife doesn’t know it? Pastor Pat Robertson offers this alternative on his show The 700 Club.
“I hate Alzheimer’s. It is one of the most awful things, because here is the loved one, this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30 or 40 years and suddenly that person is gone, they’re gone, they are gone… I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something he should divorce her and start all over again.”
But many are saying, “What happened to ‘til death do us part?’” And when exactly is a spouse “gone, gone, gone?” Fox News makes this comparison as contributor Father Jonathan Morris weighs in.
Bill Hemmer : “One of the reactions from someone suggested, ‘OK if my husband is addicted to video games I’ve lost him’ … Is that a fair comparison here?”
Father Jonathan Morris: “Exactly there’s lots of reasons to say, ‘Ah, my husband is gone, gone, gone.’ Lots of reasons. But especially when it comes down to a sickness, that is so clearly the time to step in and say, ‘This is what we promised ... That’s the person who I committed to and I’m going to love until death.’”
But Slate says don’t be ridiculous…
“Advanced Alzheimer's is no video game. And the spouse who is no longer recognized, faces an ordeal much more excruciating than inconvenience. What's striking in Robertson's answer is that he gets this.”
An MSNBC.com columnist and ethicist goes on to praise Robertson saying …
“I think it is a remarkably courageous statement and unexpected; he did not have to wade into this very sensitive area… If Alzheimer's is so severe that it robs a person of any possibility of love or being loved, communicating or being aware then it seems humane and ethical to me to permit a spouse to move on to another relationship.”
The director of Constituent services at the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago, would not comment on Robertson’s remarks, but did tell the New York Times that…
“The decisions people make are personal. If a caller to the association’s helpline asked if it was reasonable to date someone else we wouldn’t say one way or another — we’d walk them through their situation.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than half of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers say they experience significant emotional stress and a third of them report symptoms of depression.
Transcript by Newsy.