This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," Mar. 18, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: We start tonight with Terri Schiavo's sister, Suzanne Vitadamo (search) and Schindler family attorney, David Gibbs. Thank you for being with us.
Let me start with you, Suzanne. My condolences to you and your family. Are you hopeful? Where does it stand now? And how is the family reacting?
SUZANNE VITADAMO, TERRI SCHIAVO'S SISTER: Well, thank you, Sean.
Yes, we're hopeful. We still understand that Congress can actually take action yet and save Terri, and we're really pleading with Congress at this point to go ahead and do that.
Our family is struggling. I mean, today was an awful day. We really didn't think this was going to happen today with so much that was going on up in Washington and even in Tallahassee (search ). So we're doing the best we can.
Terri is a fighter. We know she is. We love her and will stand by her as long. As she's holding on, you know, we'll fight for her.
HANNITY: Well, I want you to know, Suzanne, you know I'm on your side, and I know a lot of the American people are on your side. And I know there's a lot of efforts going forward here.
David, good to see you again. Thank you for being with us.
Specifically, David, and we're going to get congressional reaction in a few minutes here, but by all objective measure, there's not a chance that anything is going to happen over the weekend.
So when we get back here Monday, 72 hours will pass. That is a long period of time. How concerned are you about that? Is there anything that can happen this weekend?
DAVID GIBBS, ATTORNEY FOR SCHINDLER FAMILY: Well, we are very concerned about Terri being without food. Her feeding was discontinued. She's begun to starve and dehydrate to death this afternoon. She will go seven to approximately 30 days before there's the point of no return and she will leave this world.
What we are hoping is that on Monday the Congress will indeed pass the law, get the language reconciled. Both the Senate and the House have passed laws that would extend due process protections to disabled people like Terri.
Ted Bundy (search ), as a convicted mass murder, has more protection than an innocent disabled woman like Terri. It makes no sense.
HANNITY: Suzanne, I — as you watch these maneuverings go on, what message do you want to send? We're going to have Congressman Sensenbrenner and Senator Santorum on here. What message do you want to send to them, because these are the guys leading this effort in Congress in Washington?
VITADAMO: Well, I — you know, I thank them very much, and the message I send is that Terri is a disabled American. And we don't treat criminals in this fashion. She has done nothing wrong.
She's not in a coma. She's reactive. She's responsive. She smiles. She giggles. She tries to talk. And today she was actually talking as much as she could to our attorney, Barbara Weller (search ). And she spoke out. She yelled out when Barbara asked her to. And even the policeman standing outside the door heard her.
So this is the type of — this is the woman that they're going to starve to death. It's inhumane.
HALPIN: Mr. Gibbs, Pat Halpin here. What makes you think that the federal courts are going to find any differently than the state courts that have — that has an extensive record on this case and has gone through numerous appeals and reviews over the years?
GIBBS: We believe that if Congress passes this legislation, that number one, Terri would get an attorney, that she would have access to court.
The judge that has made all these rulings that she should die has never looked at Terri. We don't believe Terri has ever had a fair trial. And if the legislation currently before the Congress is passed on Monday, we will be before a federal court seeking a fair trial for Terri. And we believe once a fair trial is held, Terri will indeed have her right to live protected.
HALPIN: But there quite is an extensive record that the state courts have developed over the years, and this has been reviewed by the appellate courts in Florida, hasn't it?
GIBBS: Well, it's not as extensive as you would think. There's been one trial judge that's held a trial.
HALPIN: Judge Greer.
GIBBS: And he has found that — Judge Greer has found that three statements, one to the husband, one to the sister-in-law, and one to the brother-in-law watching television, talking about a relative, is clear and convincing standards that she should die.
We believe if Terri had a lawyer, if she'd been in court, if the witnesses had to look at Terri, if the judge had to look at Terri — we would love for Congress to subpoena Terri today. The courts tossed that out in Florida. But we would love for the world to see how alive Terri is and what we're trying to do in starving her to death. It's just tragic. It's heartbreaking that it's happening in our nation.
HALPIN: Now — now I understand, and I don't want to go through all of this, but there was a five — there was a panel put together of five doctors, two appointed by the parents, two by the husband, and one by the judge, a neutral one. And three of the five said that — concurred that Terri was in this constant vegetative state, right?
GIBBS: They did but we do not believe at this point that, with the modern technology, they would find the same thing. Terri had never had an MRI (search ).
GIBBS: They have never had the testing that would show exactly what's going on in her brain.
HALPIN: Suzanne — Suzanne, did you have a chance to say goodbye to Terri?
VITADAMO: I was with her today but I'm not — I don't think I need to say goodbye yet.
HANNITY: All right. Suzanne, thank you, and all the best to your family during this tough time.
David, good to see you. We'll be talking to you in the days to come.
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