Transcript: Michael Schiavo on 'Nightline'

I'll tell you. That's a doctor you really want; they can look at a picture and make a diagnosis.

BURY: The parents also argue that you have moved on with your life, that you now have children that you're with, another woman, and that you could, essentially, divorce Terri and relinquish guardianship to them. Why don't you do that?

SCHIAVO: If I moved on with my life -- and I moved on with a portion of it -- but I still have a big commitment to Terri. I made her a promise.

And another reason why I won't give Terri back is that Mr. Schindler testified in court, at the 2000 trial, that he would -- to keep Terri alive he would cut her arms and legs off and put her on a ventilator just to keep her alive.

So why would I give her to a man that would do that to you?

BURY: As I understand it, some people have actually offered rewards. In fact, just in the last week or so, I read that someone was willing to pay you $1 million to give up your guardianship to the parents.

SCHIAVO: Yes, there was an offer. And there was an offer two weeks before that by an attorney in Boca Raton that offered me $10 million.

It's not about the money. This is about Terri. It's not about the Schindlers, it's not about the legislators, it's not about me, it's about what Terri Schiavo wanted.

BURY: I understand that that's your feeling about what your wife wanted, but knowing that you believe she is in a vegetative state and knowing that her mother and father have said they're willing to pick up the burden and carry on the cost, what is the harm to you if you agree to their wishes and relinquish guardianship to them?

SCHIAVO: Basically what I just said. Her father stated in court he would cut her arms and legs off. I'm not going to turn over Terri to a person that would do that to you.

FELOS: Chris, the fact is that Terri Schiavo is not a piece of property, not a suitcase that one person can give to another. She's an individual that has constitutional rights that have been adjudicated.

It's a constitutional right to say, "I don't want medical treatment" and the state can't force you to have it.

She may be in a vegetative state, but her dignity requires that we honor her rights and that's what this case is about now. Everyone's constitutional rights are at stake.

Jeb Bush in Florida is determined to become the George Wallace of his generation, standing on the courthouse steps saying, "We're not going to obey a court order that carries out a patient's constitutional rights."

And the thing is is that, if Mrs. Schiavo's rights are frustrated here, if the court order giving her the right to refuse medical treatment is frustrated and overturned by the governor or the legislature or the Congress, it could happen to you. It could happen in any case.

If any judicial decision is unpopular, it can be subject to being overturned by popular clamor. That's not what this country is about. That's not what individual liberty is about.

BURY: I understand fully the legal question here, Michael.

But let ask you in simply human terms. Can you understand the parents' contention, the bond that they have with their daughter, and their reluctance to let her go? Do you understand that?

SCHIAVO: You know, I have children and, you know, I couldn't even fathom what it would be like to lose a child. But you know, it's been 15 years.

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