CNN Larry King Live transcript
My comments are indented and in
Aired March 18, 2005 - 21:00 ET
LARRY KING, HOST:
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?
[Larry King Live mentioned that Terri's feeding tube was removed but he
refrained from informing his wide audience that Greer's court order does not
stop at the removal of Terri's feeding tube. It is an unprecedented and illegal
order for the removal of all forms of nutrition and hydration.]
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.
[Notice that Larry King did not ask Michael, "Why not keep her on assisted
feeding?" or "Why not keep her on life support?" Instead, he opted for the
conditioning statement, "Why not keep her alive?" This question sends the
message that Michael Schiavo and the Clearwater, Florida officials involved have
the right to determine whether Terri will live or die rather than simply
determine whether or not she would have chosen to receive "medical treatment."
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.
[Doublespeak: The first case of euthanasia in reported case law = private
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
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
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.
[DOUBLESPEAK. George Felos is making regular food and water = medical
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
[DOUBLESPEAK: George Felos
equated euthanasia with medical treatment! Judge
Greer's Feb. 25, 2005 order is for the removal of regular food and water, not
According to the Florida statutes, this order is
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.
[Doublespeak: George Felos
called what is actually "the first case of
euthanasia in Florida's reported case law"—which if allowed will have
far-reaching effects— a private 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 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
[Even if Terri ever did say that she did not want to be kept alive artificially,
Greer's Feb. 25, 2005 order does not address her alleged wishes. This order was
to remove the natural sustenance we all need to live: regular food and water.]
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 coma.. 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!
stepped in to the Terri Schiavo case because of
"personal views," not because Judge Greer has
violated numerous Florida statutes
and judicial canons and not because Michael Schiavo is
not qualified to be
Terri's legal guardian.]
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.
Bush, even while publicly speaking against what happened to Terri Schaivo,
went along with the
program, and secondly, Michael is again equated the first case of euthanasia in
reported case law (which was almost accomplished via the breaking of existing
Florida statutes) with "personal business."]
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
[DOUBLESPEAK: If the federal government steps in because a state is breaking its
own laws in an effort to cause the first case of euthanasia in reported case
law, then they are guilty of intruding in intruding into citizens' lives. Note:
They did not really "step in" but they made it look that way so as to lessen
the appearance of collusion on the part of everyone involved in this
illegally conducted case.]
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
original comment: [Michael gave himself away. He veered from his script of "This
is Terri's Wish" to "We didn't know what Terri wanted." I call that clear and
convincing evidence: Michael admitted that "We didn't know what Terri wanted."
Who is "we"?]
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
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.
[DOUBLESPEAK: George Felos is saying the government can interfere in your life
if they are opposed to your "medical treatment choice." The truth: Greer's Feb.
25, 2005 court order does not mention medical treatment or artificially
delivered nutrition and hydration. It calls for the removal of ALL FORMS of "nutrition and
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)
Judge Greer's Illegal Feb. 25,
2005 Court Order
Scientology Vs Terri