Can Terri Schiavo's Parents Save her Life?

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," March 3, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: On March 18, just two weeks away, the feeding tube that keeps Terri Schiavo alive is set to be removed. What can her parents do to stop Terri from starving to death?

Joining us from Tampa are Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. Also in Tampa is the Schindler family attorney David Gibbs. Mary, I suppose in happier times I'd wish you a happy birthday. I know it's your birthday this evening and I certainly appreciate you joining us.

MARY SCHINDLER, MOTHER OF TERRI SCHIAVO: Thank you, Greta. Thank you very much.

VAN SUSTEREN: You're welcome. Mary, any hope tonight that this March 18 deadline that you're going to have some success so that the feeding tube is not withdrawn?

M. SCHINDLER: Yes, I have a lot of hope. My daughter is not as they portray her. She's not in PVS. She's not in a coma. She's not on any life support. She's a viable, you know, human being that's very healthy. She's brain damaged. She knows who I am. She knows who we all are and I have a lot of hope that, you know, that she will be find.

VAN SUSTEREN: Bob, when is the last time you saw your daughter?


VAN SUSTEREN: And tell me what you saw. You walked in the room and you saw what? I mean did she respond to you?

B. SCHINDLER: It's fairly typical. When she sees her mother, as we said before, she just glows and she's so happy to see her and then she'll cry sometimes. She'll talk sometimes, attempts to talk and she's just is so pleased that her mother is there. So there's an interaction there between her and her mother. And the same thing with myself at times. I'm not always as successful as Mary is.

VAN SUSTEREN: David, a motion for a new trial. There are some new grounds aren't there?

DAVID GIBBS, SCHINDLER FAMILY ATTORNEY: Yes. We have discovered in the original death order, Greta, that Judge Greer made a significant mistake. He indicated that a witness that had given testimony that Terri would want to live.

And that she opposed what Karen Ann Quinlan's parents had done, that was that first major right to die case out of New Jersey, was mistaken because Karen Ann Quinlan was dead in 1976.

A lawyer in North Florida e-mailed me and said, "Mr. Gibbs, that's a huge error because indeed Karen Ann Quinlan didn't die until 1985." And in looking over the situation, if this was a death penalty case, there are now grounds to reverse this entire ruling. But because this is a civil case we're not quite sure how the judge is going to handle it but this is a significant mistake.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mary, what do you think of your son-in-law Michael?

M. SCHINDLER: What do I think of him?


M. SCHINDLER: Well, I don't condone what he's doing. I mean how can you starve somebody to death? You know that's a horrible, horrible, unbelievable thing to take food and hydration away from somebody.

VAN SUSTEREN: Mary, does your daughter react differently to you than other family members?

M. SCHINDLER: No. Well, a little bit yes she does. She tries very, very hard to talk, although I can't understand what she's saying. I've been trying, you know, to get her to say I love you and I got the "I" I think down but the love you is a little harder for her. She needs so much help right now. She needs therapy and I'm trying everything I can.

VAN SUSTEREN: Bob, what do you think of your son-in-law?

B. SCHINDLER: Well, I'd like to know where his allegiance is. Is it to his wife or to his common law wife? Actually, I think in other states he'd be a bigamist for having two women and he has children by this other person, so how can he have allegiance to Terri? And how can he be responsible for her welfare? It's a total conflict of interest.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well we'll be watching March 18 in this motion for a new trial as well. Mary, Bob, David thank you all.

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