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Radio interview
The Michael Medved Show with Alan Keyes
March 7, 2005

MICHAEL MEDVED, HOST: Another great day in this greatest nation on God's green earth--and yes, it is the greatest nation on God's green earth, despite the very disturbing fact that this great nation will, in a matter of days, be deploying the power of government, deploying the power of the courts, in order to take a stricken young woman out of her parent's care and to kill her.

That bothers lots of Americans, but I think it bothers one American in particular, who shares, actually, in this case, with me a passion regarding the Terri Schiavo case down in Florida. His name is Alan Keyes. Dr. Keyes--if you listen to this show, you know that he and I have had our differences in political strategy over the past, but he is someone who has been a consistently eloquent spokesman for the cause of life; a two-time presidential candidate, a three-time senatorial candidate, and at one time an ambassador to a U.N. commission from the Reagan administration.

Dr. Keyes, thank you for making the time for us.

ALAN KEYES: I'm always glad to be with you, Mike. How are you?

MEDVED: I'm very well, indeed. But more to the point--am I right that, unless something is done or something changes, as early as March 18th, they could start starving Terri Schiavo to death?

KEYES: I believe that's right, yes. The judge made a decision. He issued a three week stay, I think, that then at the end of that period, at the expiration of that period, it could be done. And I have said for the longest time that what I don't understand about this--leave aside the particulars of the case for a moment--you have a situation in Florida where both the governor and the state legislature believe that this is a travesty, that it violates the basic constitutional right to life of Terri Schiavo, and that it should not go forward. And yet, the decision of the judge is being treated as if it is the final word on this fundamental issue of constitutional right. And that, of course, is not true.

It is one of those areas where judicial tyranny is now focusing in particular--you know, they have done it in religious rulings and other things in a general way, now they are focusing in particular so that a judge could actually move forward so as to accomplish judicial murder. And we actually believe that the chief executive, for instance, in Florida has no responsibility or right to intervene to stop this from taking place? That's an entire misunderstanding of our system of government that deeply worries me.

MEDVED: And that should worry every American. I mean, just so that people know what is going on here, I have this latest letter from Terri Schiavo's father, Bob Schindler, and he writes, "Contrary to anything you may have heard, Terri is not brain dead. Terri is not in a coma. She is not in a Persistent Vegetative State, nor is she on any life support system. Terri laughs, Terri cries, she moves, and she makes child-like attempts at speech with her mother and me. Sometimes she will say 'Mom,' or 'Dad,' or 'yeah,' when we ask her a question. When I kiss her hello or goodbye, she looks at me and puckers up her lips."

Maybe, Dr. Keyes, you could explain to people, on what basis, given the fact that you have these two amazingly devoted and loving parents who are exemplifying profound commitment to their daughter's right to live, why would we even consider having the government take the child away from parents who love her and want to keep her alive?

KEYES: In the first instance, I think all of this began because her husband has been her guardian. He still is, under the legal arrangement. That has not been something the parents have been allowed to do. This, despite the fact that people have argued over time that there seems to be a conflict of interest in the husband's situation, in terms of his actually fulfilling his responsibilities. That has been seen in a lot of the details in the way this has been handled over the course of the 15-odd years that she has been in this condition.

And so, there is a conflict of interest. But the court just simply ignored all of that, despite the fact that he went into court during the effort to get the damages and said that he wanted to live with Terri for the rest of his life--not her life, by the way, but his life. They estimated 50 years or more of life for her when they issued the award in that case, and he knew this at the time, so he made a commitment . . .

MEDVED: This is the medical malpractice case, that brought him 1.7 million dollars.

KEYES: Right. This husband said that he was committed to making sure she was taken care of over that 50-odd year estimated period, and that's why they should get these damages, and so forth. Within months after the award, he was in there trying to get her into a situation where she wouldn't be fed.

And remember, this isn't unhooking someone from some machine or other. In literal sense, it's not even that she needs constant feeding or care. Her body is capable of sustaining life on its own. It needs the same thing you or I need: it needs to be fed periodically, just the way we do.

She is, in that sense, in terms of her physical health, no different than you or me, in terms of her basic needs, which is not an extraordinary requirement, it is not a medical intervention. It is simply eating.

MEDVED: And I think you have made the point, Dr. Keyes, that in the state of Florida, in most states, it is a criminal offense to starve a dog to death.

KEYES: Well, it's also a criminal offense under their law to starve disabled people, and to starve people who are incapacitated. You must give that basic care--that includes food and shelter and so forth--when people are under your care.

And so, this case is not about whether or not you turn off the life support machine, or whether or not you are going to let someone die who is incapable of sustaining life on their own without medical intervention. That is not what is going on here. It's as if the court were authorizing this man to go into her room, put a pillow over her head, and kill her. That is what is taking place. It is judicially-sanctioned murder that we are watching here.

I find it amazing that we are sitting here and saying, "Well, the court said it. Therefore, it has to be done." So, if a court orders somebody to be murdered, nobody can stop it?

That is not true, by the way. A matter of fact, as it was pointed out in the Federalist Papers--I often like to direct people to this--in Federalist 78, when they are talking about the nature of judicial power, it says the following about the court: "The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatsoever. It may truly be said to have neither force nor will, but merely judgment, and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm, even for the efficacy of its judgment."

And that means, as you would expect under a system of separation of powers, that the executive, for instance, has an independent will. He does not have to simply accept what the courts say. He has a separate responsibility to the Constitution, to the basic rights of individuals, and if he sees that something is going on that violates that right, he is duty-bound by his oath to intervene and make sure that the constitutional rights of the individual are preserved. And that's what Jeb Bush should be doing.

MEDVED: In fairness, there was certainly an attempt to do that. I think that part of the risk, don't you think it's likely, Dr. Keyes, that if Jeb Bush actually came forward and took the kind of aggressive position you are talking about on this, that he would be cited in contempt of court?

KEYES: It wouldn't matter. The court has no force. The court, when acting against an executive, can't do anything. It just fulminates King Lear. No action can be taken pursuant to the court's judgment without the cooperation of the executive, and he simply withholds that cooperation.

MEDVED: All right. Have you had the opportunity to speak to Governor Bush about this?

KEYES: I had an opportunity to speak to him directly. I made this argument quite often with writing and otherwise, and I think it's an argument that I think generally holds true with respect to the judicial power in our system, where you have separation of powers, independent branches. You cannot say that simply because a judge says "x," the legislature and the executive are bound to obey what the judge says--because that would mean that the judiciary was the supreme branch. And that's not the case under our system.

MEDVED: And a very good example would be, thank God, we had courageous people in the United States who were not ready to accept the Dred Scott decision in 1858, which basically said that a people were property and nothing more, and that they were a constitutionally-guaranteed right to property, and states and leaders of states could do nothing to defy the court. Well, that wasn't the reaction of Abraham Lincoln and others, was it?

KEYES: And it hasn't been. It stretches all the way back to the famous statement Andrew Jackson made about a Supreme Court decision, when he said, "The judges have made their decision. Let them enforce it."

He was, in fact, pointing to a reality under our Constitution. Now you could say, "Doesn't that mean the executive can be lawless?" Well, no. What is in dispute here is the nature of fundamental law, and if the executive disagrees with the judge or the judicial branch over the nature of the fundamental law, the judge does not reign supreme, and the executive is not required to sacrifice his conscience and independent will to the executive. If he were, then he would not be an independent branch, he would be subordinate to the judiciary.

People need to think this through, because on a while range of issues across the board, it represents an abuse--but in this case, that abuse is actually being targeted at an individual. And I think of all the senior citizens in Florida. I can't understand why they are not up in arms, because this endangers their future.

MEDVED: It endangers the whole moral tenor of the society in which we live. We are speaking to Dr. Alan Keyes. He is very active in the efforts to save the life of Terri Schiavo. To save her from whom? From government and judges. How are we going to do that? We'll get back to Dr. Keyes and your calls in a moment.

[break]

MEDVED: I'm speaking with Dr. Alan Keyes. He has become passionately engaged in the efforts to save Terri Schiavo from what can only be construed as judicial murder down in Florida.

Dr. Keyes, do you have any official position or situation with the Schiavo family?

KEYES: No, I have just been an interested party, along with many others in the country, who have been working hard to support them, to spread the word about their situation, to get good-hearted people--particularly those who are part of the network of people who, in general, are concerned about the issues that affect our respect for the integrity of human life--to get them involved. And so, throughout the little network that I have of people around the country who work on these issues, we contact by email and by direct mail and by other outreach. We have worked with the family to get the word out. I have also been in touch with and of course know others like Father Pavone and others who have worked directly with the situation there. So, it's really just a matter of my sharing the heart that I think many people have in this country. This is not something that is just a family matter. This deeply affects the fundamental, moral conscience of our people.

MEDVED: Absolutely right.

[takes callers]

MEDVED: Let's go to Joe in Frederick, Maryland. Joe, you are on the Michael Medved Show with Dr. Alan Keyes.

JOE: I really enjoy your show, and you always make me think.

MEDVED: Well, thank you.

JOE: I do take exception with what Dr. Keyes had to say in regards to the executive branch. I am not a lawyer, by any means. Never hope to be one. But I do think it is the legislature and the judicial branch who makes our laws. It's up to the executive branch to enforce their laws.

My own thinking on permitting a terminally ill or permitting someone who is described to be in a Persistent Vegetative State is that--actually, me and my wife talked about this. We agree with each other that if it happened to either of us, we should let the other go.

MEDVED: You know what, Joe? I don't--and Alan Keyes, correct me on this--I don't think there is any question, if Terri Schiavo had expressed that kind of agreement in writing or expressed it to other people, this whole case wouldn't be happening the way that it is.

JOE: Right. I really understand. And I think what it really gets down to is who really has custody, I guess you'd say, of that person. Is it the husband, or is it the spouse? Is it the spouse, or is it the parents, if they are still alive? Or, barring that, does it fall to the government?

KEYES: Well, number one, there hasn't been a legal dispute about who has legal custody. Her husband has been her guardian, and that has not, so far as I know, under the legality of the situation, changed. The question is whether the husband in the position of guardian has the right to take her life. It is quite clear, by the way, under normal circumstances under the law that you don't have the right to take the life of someone who is under your care in this way. A matter of fact, it is explicitly against the law in Florida, as it is in most parts of the country, for you to take steps that would end the life of someone over whom you have this kind of legal guardianship.

So, it's really not a question [of guardianship]. The question is, whether or not the taking of life in this case--and remember. Let us be clear. We are not talking about a Persistent Vegetative State. We are not talking about someone hooked up to life support machines and all of that. Her body sustains itself on her own. She is responsive at a minimal level to her surroundings, and so forth. So, this is not the question. We are simply talking about something that is not even a medical procedure, whether or not she should continue to receive nourishment, just like you or me, or whether or not it should be withheld so she will be starved to death.

On a factual level, it is not the kind of situation that people ordinarily talk about.

I have often said to my wife that I don't want to be sustained by extraordinary means. Once it's my time to go, let God have His will. But in this case, it is not God's will that is being done, it is a positive act of omission that would kill any of us.

JOE: Discount that argument then. If my wife were in such circumstances, and I chose, based upon her will, to let life support be removed, the same argument applies.

KEYES: No, I'm sorry. You keep using language carelessly. We are not talking about life support. We are talking about nourishment. And if we are going to say that it is dying of natural causes to be starved to death, then I presume parents who lock their kids up in closets and don't feed them until they die can no longer be accused of murder, because they died of natural causes. They didn't get any food. This is nonsense. You and I both know it.

We are using, or being the victims of, a lot of medical terminology, in order to ignore our simple common sense. Feeding someone is not a medical procedure. It is not a life support procedure. It is a normal part of everyday living. And if we withhold that food from someone under our care, it has ever been the understanding that we murder that person, and if we yield that understanding now, we are opening the door to evils incalculable.

JOE: I yield that point was well made, Dr. Keyes.

MEDVED: All right. Thank you very much for your call, Joe. I appreciate it. Let's go to John in Philadelphia. You are on the Michael Medved Show with Dr. Alan Keyes.

JOHN: Hello, Michael. Hello, Dr. Alan Keyes. You are one of my heroes, sir. Please run for president.

KEYES: Well, I appreciate the support.

JOHN: I vacillate between absolute rage and despair over this issue of Terri Schiavo, and I'll make my point real quick. Governor Jeb Bush is the executive commander, I guess you would say, of Florida, in charge of the state police. Is he not?

KEYES: That's right.

JOHN: OK. Could he not then disregard this judge's order, unconstitutional order, to kill this woman, and throw a cordon of state police around that young woman's room? I'm totally serious, sir.

KEYES: Well, see . . . but I don't think you . . .

JOHN: Anyone who tries to remove the feeding tube from this woman could be charged with attempted murder.

KEYES: Exactly. I mean, in point of fact, that is not a ridiculous thing. And it wouldn't have to go that far. There is nobody in the state who is going to act to try to enforce something against the governor's will. He is the chief executive officer. Nobody else in the state of Florida has an executive power supreme over him. So, he takes this action, and there's nobody to oppose him.

JOHN: Sir, I would just also add that, if this was my family, I'm here to tell you, no one, no one, would do this to someone in my family. I would exercise my Second Amendment right to protect my family. Thank you, sir.

MEDVED: I appreciate it--but your Second Amendment right doesn't necessarily give you the right to shoot anybody. Let's be very clear about that.

We're speaking with Dr. Alan Keyes about the Terri Schiavo case, which has taken a very disturbing turn. As early as Mach 18th, according to the current judicial order--which I do believe will be changed. But as early as March 18th, they can begin starving her to death. And one of the things about starvation is it is a particularly a long, painful death. It is not the kind of quick thing that you see in Oscar-winning movies about, quote, "death with dignity."

When we come back, I want to talk a little bit to Dr. Keyes about the whole emphasis on suicide in our culture right at the moment--but this isn't suicide, this is murder. And I think we are in agreement on that. If you disagree, give us a call.

[break]

MEDVED: Thirty-four minutes past the hour on the Michael Medved Show with Alan Keyes, a two-time presidential candidate, three-time senatorial candidate, and one of the most impassioned and effective orators in the United States anywhere. And I have always said that. He is right now talking about a critical situation down in Florida, which deserves the concern, the prayers, and the support of every American who supports the cause of human life. The Terri Schiavo case, where, based upon actions by her husband and by the judicial system, she may quite literally be murdered, starved to death, within the next few days, unless something dramatic changes.

We go to your calls. To Bart in Huntington Beach, California. You're on the Michael Medved Show with Dr. Alan Keyes.

BART: Thank you very much, Michael. I'm a family physician. I have served on ethics committees for hospitals. I have personally ordered the removal of feeding tubes on patients on a number of occasions, and I feel like, one of the few times I disagree with you as I listen to your show. I think that Dr. Keyes acknowledges that it is acceptable to remove such life support--and it is a type of life support. If the patient has a durable power of attorney or advance directive, then he turns to says to do without it is murder. I don't get it.

I think that if indeed this is considered an unacceptable quality of life for Mrs. Schiavo by those who know her best--which usually is her husband--then it is absolutely ethically and morally appropriate to withdraw feeding tubes and hydration in these types of patients. And it's done every day in America.

KEYES: Well, actually, if I may make a clarification. I didn't say that somebody has the right to mandate that they shall be essentially aided in committing suicide by some will. You cannot, by a will or testament, do that which you do not have the right to do apart from that will or testament. So, no. You can't mandate that you shall be allowed to commit suicide.

Under the law, starving yourself to death is considered to be suicide. And at a moral level, it is indistinguishable from taking an active step to kill yourself. So, it's different from the decision that you will not accept extraordinary medical intervention. That is precisely the nub of this problem, because we are not talking about any extraordinary procedures whatsoever. And we need to be clear about this.

BART: Then we disagree on that.

MEDVED: But wait. Dr. Keyes, let me just get one thing clear. You see, this may be an area where you and I part company, as well. Do you not believe that an individual patient has a right--and it's a very serious right--to refuse treatment?

KEYES: Of course! But feeding is not treatment.

BART: Oh, yes, it is!

KEYES: We cannot allow the notion that taking nourishment is a medical procedure, because at that point, we have blurred the distinction between necessary care--which is specified, by the way, even under the Florida statute. You know, providing people with food is one of the things you cannot stop doing, if you are their guardian. And the notion that you can crosses the line, and introduces us into a situation where, as I said . . .

I mean, list the people who are helpless: people who are in comas, people who are unconscious, people who have various disabilities, children, people who are elderly, in various assorted ways, and have to have help eating. If you are going to say that the provision of that help is now an "extraordinary medical procedure," then we can do to death anybody we please by this measure.

MEDVED: Doctor, is he wrong on this?

BART: Absolutely. I think his words have to be carefully analyzed. The definition of what constitutes extraordinary care belongs to the patient. I have patients for whom an amputation is extraordinary care, and they have chosen to die rather than have amputation. I have patients who say that if they have an unacceptable quality of life--which every patient I have ever counseled about end-of-life issues would classify in Ms. Schiavo's case as an unacceptable quality of life in their judgment. They have specifically told me they would not want to be fed or hydrated, should they reach that condition.

And Dr. Keyes' position--which is a moral one, not a legal one--is that nobody has the right to choose to die if they are in an unresponsive, non-communicative state, with minimal chance of survival, which actually places him in the minority with regards to ethical judgment that is put on in this country every day in every hospital.

MEDVED: All right. We will come back with a response from Alan Keyes. I do think that the crucial matter here is the extent to which an individual can make a statement beforehand, preemptively, suggesting that under certain circumstances, I do want to refuse treatment, even basic treatment. This is not the real issue. It's not really is this basic treatment or is it extraordinary, but other issues involving human life need to be addressed with Dr. Alan Keyes, pertaining to the Terri Schiavo affair.

[break]

MEDVED: On the Terri Schiavo case, there are so many particulars that make it different from any other case that I have ever heard discussed, one of the things that many people may not know is that her husband, who claims that he is only acting in her behalf and fulfilling some wishes that he claims she communicated to him privately, that she would want to die, rather than to lead a compromised quality of life.

Her husband, currently, is not leading a compromised quality of life. He is living with his girlfriend, and they have two children that were conceived since Terri's incapacitation. So, the idea that he is still her primary guardian--Alan Keyes, wouldn't you think that would be legally challengeable, just based upon the circumstances of Mr. Schiavo?

KEYES: Well, I think one of the things that they are going forward with now is to raise questions about whether or not, in his conduct, he has in fact acquitted himself in such a way as to be trusted with that guardianship. It's one of the things that is being moved forward to try to challenge what is going on.

There are a lot of questions, and I don't want to get into them all, because they get into some fairly touchy areas, which I think are best handled when you are in a situation where you provide the necessary proof and evidence.

MEDVED: Absolutely. Let me ask you just a specific about your position. You don't take the position, do you, that if a couple, for instance, leaves written instructions and all of the survivors for one of the parties to the couple say, or to the couple itself, that if the survivors and the family members all agree that this is what they wanted, and that there is a clear desire, for instance, not to be re-hydrated, not to be fed, under certain circumstances, you don't believe that there is an affirmative requirement to defy the wishes clearly expressed of someone, do you?

KEYES: Well, actually--are you talking about as a legal or a moral problem? As a matter of legality, no, there is not. As a matter of fact, that kind of life-prolonging procedure, when you have got a clear statement that has been duly presented, signed, and authorized by the individual, that can happen, and would happen in this case if it had been affected in that way.

But I, as a moral matter, think you have to be very careful with that. I mean, there is a provision in the Florida law that says, "Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing or euthanasia, or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life, other than to permit the natural process of dying."

And there, I think, is where we get into the difficulty. To what extent is starvation a natural process of dying?

MEDVED: Very well said.

KEYES: If we are going to include that as a part of the natural process of dying, then, as I say--we think about these awful cases where parents neglect their kids, put them in closets, don't feed them, and so forth, and in one case we know the children were left totally neglected. One of them died, the others were severely malnourished. Do we really want to say that that child who died in that case, that was the result of a natural process of dying, and that this shouldn't be regarded as an act of murder?

MEDVED: Very well said.

Let's go to Theresa in Tuscan, Arizona. You're on the Michael Medved Show.

THERESA: Hello, Michael. I called to talk about one thing. I am a dog breed breeder, and I have euthanized dogs regularly. In the state of Arizona, there are two methods that are considered legal and humane to kill a dog. One is having a vet do it with a needle. The other is shooting it in the head. Starvation is not an option. You will spend time in prison for that.

Another issue is, my husband is now in the hospital. He was in the ICU last week for three days because he has a lot of respiratory problems. He is disabled, and he developed pneumonia. He went in the hospital. I took him there. And he basically was refusing all kinds of treatment. They determined that he was refusing the treatment because he wasn't rational, because he wasn't getting oxygen to his brain. I have spent the last week sleeping on a hospital floor beside his bed every night, and I am going to do it again tonight. I came home today to take care of my animals.

Sometimes, people make decisions or refuse things when they are not rational, when they are too ill, when they are not mentally right. He's off the ICU, and he is getting better.

MEDVED: Thank God.

THERESA: But have been there to monitor his care, to make sure--and told the doctors, I put them on notice, if you let him refuse things because he doesn't have enough oxygen or he is too ill, I'm going to sue you with a lawsuit like you've never seen. And I sleep there, and I'm taking notes, and I'm monitoring what they are doing, because I want him to get better.

MEDVED: I hope he has a full and a speedy recovery, Theresa.

THERESA: He has been better the last three days. He is more like himself, and I talked to his doctors this morning.

But, I had called [the show] to talk about the dogs, and then I started thinking, people make decisions sometimes when they aren't rational. And they determined that when he was refusing treatment--he's accepting them now. He's himself now. And he's letting them do tests.

MEDVED: Theresa, I don't know, and Dr. Keyes, if you have heard this amazing story out of Oregon, where, of course, assisted suicide is legal, and there was somebody who asked for a dose of barbiturates that was supposed to put him down. And he went into a coma, and everything signed off, and then he woke up, and he said, "Why am I not dead?" Did you hear about this case, Dr. Keyes?

KEYES: I did hear about it, yeah.

And I think that it's an interesting thing--I'm listening to the really touching story that your caller has shared with us, and thinking to myself, that's the natural instinct of loved ones, isn't it?

MEDVED: Of course.

KEYES: And I'm wondering about the difference between Terri Schiavo's husband, when he was looking for this medical judgment, where he said, "I'm devoted. I love my wife. I plan to take care of her for the rest of my life." He didn't say for the rest of her life. He said, "For the rest of my life, I will take care of her," and so forth.

He gave the estimate that she would live 60 years--and it was in this [disabled] condition, remember this. And then, within months, he decides he wants to withdraw, when nothing in her condition has changed or altered.

I think that raises a serious question about what we're dealing with, which was brought to my mind when I was listening to this very natural expression of real love and affection [by the last caller].

This is a case, by the way, where Terri Schiavo did not, by any clear, positive act, indicate that she wished to be killed in this way. The only thing, as I understand it, that we have indicating this, is the unsupported word of her husband about a casual remark.

MEDVED: There is so much strangeness going on in our society right now. When we come back, I wonder if Dr. Keyes has reacted the way I have to some of the statements regarding the suicide of Hunter S. Thompson--statements by his family saying this represents a triumph, it is the ultimate act of "courage." "We are prouder of him than we ever have been."

Have we really reached that point in the United States of America where we're proud of someone putting a bullet through his head? We'll be right back with Dr. Alan Keyes, and let's hope the answer to that is, "No, we haven't reached that state."

[break]

MEDVED: Joined by Dr. Alan Keyes, who is one of many Americans--one of the leaders, actually--in the effort to spare the life of Terri Schiavo in Florida.

Let's go quickly to Mary in Tacoma. You're on the Michael Medved Show with Dr. Keyes.

MARY: Has anyone actually looked the husband in the eyes and asked him, "Why do you want your wife dead," number one, and number two, "Why is starving someone to death not considered cruel and unusual punishment," since the woman hasn't done anything?

KEYES: Well, this is an innocent person, and we are seeing something being done by civil procedure that would not be allowed in a criminal court.

If you had a case, for instance--the argument I make about executive power. Nobody would dispute that if a judge took part in and cooperated with a lynching, and without proper procedure, or in ways that were a clear travesty of justice, somebody was about to be killed, pursuant to a court's decision or order, that the executive has the right to intervene.

That is what the pardoning power ultimately represents under our Constitution: that executive power to stop a judge's action from taking effect, because the judge does not have executive power, and if the executive conscientiously believes a decision is leading to a travesty of constitutional law and justice, he cannot cooperate in it, and must stop it.

That's what we have got here in the case of an innocent person, being done to death by a civil judge.

MEDVED: Mary, to answer your question, I mean, I think that what the parents of Terri Schiavo believe is that her husband received this malpractice judgment, it was 1.7 million dollars. He has used some of that in her care. Most of that money is still there. And you see, there is a great . . .

KEYES: But Mike, on the website, they suggest that most of the money has gone for legal fees that for some reason, even though the judgment was for medical care for her, the court has allowed the money, hundreds of thousands of dollars, to go to a lawyer in legal fees. It's amazing. That itself is mind-boggling to me.

MEDVED: Very quickly--and you know how radio works, having been a talk show host yourself--what's the right response to this suicide chic that we are going through right now?

KEYES: Well, I think it's to remember that the right to life is a unalienable right, according to our Declaration of Independence. Unalienable means you don't have the right to give it up.

So, under our understanding of where our rights come from, we don't have the right to commit suicide, because we don't have the right ourselves to take away the right to life that is given us by God.

MEDVED: Dr. Alan Keyes, somebody who has spoken more passionately and eloquently about the right to life and its importance in this society than just about anyone else. May God grant you strength and success for your important work in this area and so many others. Dr. Alan Keyes, in this greatest nation on God's green earth.

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