The O'Reilly Factor
A daily summary of segments aired on The O'Reilly Factor. A preview of the evening's rundown is posted before the show airs each weeknight.
Thursday, March 31, 2005
The Factor Rundown
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Impact Segment
Unresolved Problems Segment
Personal Story Segment
Factor Follow Up Segment
Back of Book Segment
Book Mentions
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The Death of Terri Schiavo
Guest: Fxo News correspondent Julie Banderas

"Most of us have already said prayers for Terri Schiavo and the people who love her. All over America, people have chosen sides. According to a new poll, 54% of Americans said removing the feeding tube was an act of mercy, while 29 percent said it was murder. Talking Points hopes you base your facts on provable facts, not speculation and emotion. So what happens now? There will be an autopsy and the results will be heavily scrutinized. A lot of people have a lot to lose if Terri's brain is found functional in any way. Then Terri will be cremated because Michael Schiavo makes that call. His decision to deny her a Catholic funeral will again make him look bad. We hope Mr. Schiavo reconsiders and allows the funeral mass, then Terri can be cremated. As Talking Points has said, there aren't any winners here. Everybody has lost in one way or another. But the implications for America are very important."


Michael Schiavo reportedly asked Terri's siblings to leave the room when it was apparent she was about to die. Fox News correspondent Julie Banderas joined The Factor with more details about Terri Schiavo's final moments. "Bad blood is an understatement to describe these two families," Banderas said. "Up until the bitter end, they couldn't seem to agree on anything. Terri's brother and sister were in the room with her, but when it was obvious Terri was in her final minutes Michael Schiavo asked them to leave. When she passed, they were not allowed to be in the room. Then Michael Schiavo's attorney came out to say she died a peaceful death and died with dignity."
Religious view of the Schiavo case
Guest: Rev. Dr. Robert Schuller, Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, CA

Rev. Robert Schuller joined The Factor, and like many religious leaders, he argued that removing Terri Schiavo?s feeding tube was the wrong choice. "I would have no problem terminating a life if they were using advanced technologies, but I couldn't encourage anyone to withhold nutrition to intentionally deliver death. I have a profound respect for life, whether it's a flower, a bird, or a butterfly. Human life especially is so precious that we have to try and preserve it." Dr. Schuller added that while Terri was classified as being in a permanent vegetative state, her life had value. "She was serving until her dying breath. Look at the love she was giving. Look at her parents and how they treasured her."
Secular view of the Schiavo case
Guest: Author Sam Harris

Sam Harris, author of "The End of Faith," presented a different view of the issue. "We need to have a debate about medical ethics," Harris contended, "but we're not having that debate because the conversation has been hijacked by this movement of evangelical populists." Harris argued that ending Terri Schiavo's life was the merciful thing to do, and said opinion polls show he's in the majority. "Most Americans realize intuitively that there is something worse than death. There are situations many of us face at the end of our lives where death is mercy. The real tragedy is that there is no choice for euthanasia or assisted suicide."
Politics & the Schiavo case
Guest: Fox News political analyst Dick Morris

While some Republicans argued strenuously that Terri Schiavo should be allowed to live, many leading Democrats remained silent. Fox News analyst Dick Morris provided his take on the political fallout. "I think the Democrats may end up doing pretty well because of this. President Bush seems to be moving into that area of extreme social conservatism that he's been trying to avoid. And Jeb Bush hurt himself badly by casting himself as a straight right winger." Morris said Hillary Clinton was wise to steer clear of the Schiavo case. "Hillary's trying to move to the center, so she doesn't want to talk about this issue. She sees this as a secular and religious divide and doesn't want to be on the secular side of it."
The legal system & Schiavo case
Guests: Author Dr. Larry Chapp & Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano

During the entire Terri Schiavo saga, some of the harshest criticism was aimed at America's judicial system. Fox News analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano claimed much of that criticism was warranted. "Since Roe vs. Wade unleashed over 35-million abortions on the United States, we have become a culture of death. We accept death too easily and too quickly. It has become too easy for judges to say she wanted to die, so let her die. The default position should have been life. It would have been an act of mercy to allow Terri to live in the arms of her parents who were ready to care for her." Theology professor Larry Chapp concurred with that analysis. "With Roe vs. Wade we saw a complete change of attitude towards the whole issue of human life. The real issue here is whether we have conclusive evidence about what Terri Schiavo wishes were. Absent that conclusive evidence, we should err on the side of life."
Closing arguments: Rabbi & priest
Guests: Syndicated columnists Rabbi Marc Gellman & Father Tom Hartman

Catholic Monsignor Tom Hartman and Rabbi Marc Gellman, who call themselves the "God Squad," joined The Factor with some closing thoughts. Monsignor Hartman said he would have counseled Michael Schiavo to let his wife live. "We should be especially good to people who are dying because they're getting ready to meet God. Mr. Schiavo didn't put forth his best under those circumstances." Rabbi Gellman drew a parallel between the Schiavo case and the ongoing debate about abortion. "It's a question of what's right and wrong, and the connection to abortion is so obvious. Here's a woman who had an alternative, a family willing to care for her. And in the case of a fetus, with adoption there's an alternative. Someone is willing to care for it. So that's where the connection is."
Book Mentions
Check out the books mentioned during this show.
Rewriting History
by Dick Morris

Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws
by Andrew Napolitano

Because He Could
by Dick Morris

God Who Speaks: Hans Urs Von Balthasar's Theology of Revelation
by Larry S. Chapp

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
by Sam Harris

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