You'll read a contradiction by Michael Schiavo from a statement in the beginning of this interview to a closing statement regarding Terri's "will". Schiavo clearly said:
". . . But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And I've also said that in court. We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want..."
Aired March 18, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Larry King Live
[After interviewing a panel discussing the murder of the little girl in Florida]
Right now to Dunedin, Florida. Michael Schiavo is there. He is Terri Schiavo's husband. Also with him is George Felos, the attorney for Michael Schiavo.
Fifteen years ago, of course you know the story, Terri Schiavo collapsed when her heart temporarily stopped beating and oxygen cut off resulted in Terri suffering severe brain damage. She is now 41- years-old being cared for in a Florida hospice, kept alive by a feeding tube. That tube was removed today. You were not there, Michael?
MICHAEL SCHIAVO, TERRI SCHIAVO'S HUSBAND: No, I wasn't, Larry.
KING: Any reason?
M. SCHIAVO: I just didn't want to be in the room then.
KING: And Everyone keeps saying, Michael, I'll ask George in a minute, even if she said to you, I don't want to live like this, which is the reason you've been doing this, so what? If she's not in pain and the parents want her to be alive and you're no longer involved, so what? Why not keep her alive?
M. SCHIAVO: Because this is what Terri wanted. This is her wish.
You know something, Larry, I feel like the government. What I'm here for tonight is I'm going to tell you -- I feel like the government has just trampled all over my personal life. It is uncomprehensible that a government can walk all over somebody's private judicial matter, because of their own personal feelings.
You know, I should be sitting with my wife right now. You know, her tube was removed and I should be with her. But you know, I felt the need to speak out, because it is just horrible the way that this government is acting with this case.
KING: Now they have asked, Michael, the United States Supreme Court, to sort of put a stay on this, Justice Anthony Kennedy has jurisdiction over emergency appeals. Tom DeLay said they're going to do all they can in Congress. Why is that wrong if that is their heartfelt feelings, if they're just trying to, in their opinion, preserve a life?
GEORGE FELOS, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL SCHIAVO: Well, Larry, let me answer that.
KING: All right, George.
FELOS: Each and every one of us in this country has a constitutional right to refuse medical treatment they don't want. Terri exercised that right. She made her statements clear. A court has found evidence to be convincing.
And just because Tom DeLay and cohorts in Washington don't like Terri's choice, doesn't mean the federal government can make medical treatments decisions for you.
We received a subpoena today from the House of Representatives saying Terri is a witness in an investigation, force-feed her against her will. That is just an outrageous abuse of government power. And everyone in this country should be alarmed about that. They ought to be writing their Congressmen and senators, and say -- telling them, please let Terri die in peace. This is a private matter, it's been reviewed for years, the Congress just has no place in this.
[We're now hearing from the "man on the street" saying: "The U.S. Congress has NO business interferring with this personal matter!!!"]
KING: Hold it Michael -- on hearsay, George, thought, the only word that she said that is Michael's, right, George?
FELOS: No. That's not correct. Because she made those statements to her best friend, Joan [Michael's sister was NOT Terri's 'best friend'] and also to her brother-in-law. There were three witnesses and numerous statements to those witnesses over different periods of time. I don't want to be kept alive artificially. No tubes for me. I want to go when my time comes. If I ever had to be dependent upon anyone, I wouldn't want to live that way.
I mean, Terri made her wishes clear. And that's what the court found.
M. SCHIAVO: And this is the problem...
KING: Why do you undergo, Michael, all that pressure. I'm back to that again. OK. It was a wish. If she's not in pain -- and by the way, she's not artificially being kept alive in that sense, she's not in a comma. She's being fed. Again, I come back to, all right. Give it up.
M. SCHIAVO: I won't give it up. Terri is my life. I'm going to carry out her wishes to the very end. This is what she wanted. It's not about the Schindlers, it's not about me, not about Congress, it's about Terri.
Now, I want you all to think about going through a judicial process to have your wishes granted and then the Congress and the government walking in on that because of their personal views. That's absurd!
Governor Bush, he's only doing this for votes. And I urge everybody out there, call your Congress, call your House legislators, call your House representatives in Washington and tell them to stay out of our personal business. They're going to be running everybody's life.
KING: Michael, what do you expect to happen? Congress is in recess now, they have to come back into special session. The Supreme Court could put a stay on it. What do you think is going to happen?
M. SCHIAVO: I don't think the Supreme Court is going to put a stay on it. And I hope and implore that everybody call their legislators. They have to stay out of people's personal lives. There's no place for government. Call them and tell them.
KING: Have you had any contact with the family today? This is a sad day all the way around, Michael. We know of your dispute.
M. SCHIAVO: I've had no contact with them.
KING: No contact at all?
M. SCHIAVO: No.
KING: Do you understand how they feel?
M. SCHIAVO: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And I've also said that in court. We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want...
KING: You're not -- it didn't cost you anything. This is not something where you're looking to save money?
M. SCHIAVO: No. There's no money involved. We need to move on from that question. That question has been asked me 50 million times. There is no money!
KING: George, what do you think is going to happen? FELOS: Larry, this case has been so unpredictable, it's impossible to say. But we have found a real ground swell of support, especially with that atrocious intervention by the Congress. We've gotten calls, letters, people e-mailed and a lot of people very upset about this.
I mean, it's scary to think that the government, just because they may be ideologically opposed to your medical treatment choice, has a right to overturn what you want. And people are up in arms about this and they're letting their Senators and Representatives know.
M. SCHIAVO: I want everybody to know. I want to know which Congressman, which House legislator would come down here and take Terri's place? Who's going to take her position? You won't get an answer.
KING: Michael Schiavo and George Felos. Michael Schiavo the husband, George Felos the attorney. We'll take a break and come back with Susan Vitadamo, Terri Schiavo's sister, and David Gibbs the Schindler family attorney. And then we'll have a debate on the topic. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RE[/ TP, DELAY (R) TEXAS: In my opinion, the sanctity of life overshadows the sanctity of marriage. I don't know what transpired between Terri and her husband, all I know is Terri is alive and this judge in Florida wants to pull her feeding tube and let her starve for two weeks. That is barbaric. And unless she had specifically written instructions in her hand and with her signature, I don't care what her husband says.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[the last part of this transcript is with Terri's sister, Susan and Schindler attorney, Gibbs. The entire transcript can be found at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0503/18/lkl.01.html ]