The Jewish Week has an article on the ethical issues of the Terri Schiavo case. Among the many conflicting voices is one that forms the basis for a legal (as opposed to a religious) argument to reinsert the the tube:
[I]t is clear that the feeding tube must be reinserted because Schiavo was not near death when it was connected.
“Hydration and nutrition must be provided … It shouldn’t have been taken out. They are starving a brain-damaged woman to death.”
Which Orthodox rabbi was savvy enough to make this point?
J. David Bleich from YU? Nope. Rabbi Bleich called a feeding tube "meals on wheels" and noted that our bodies "belong" to God, not to us. Neither of his arguments will carry much weight in the public square.
The OU noted the traditional Jewish emphasis on life. Agudath Israel's Rabbi Avi Shafran made Ms. Schiavo sound like someone's pet rabbit:
“I don’t know of any halachic [Jewish law] authority who would say anything but that she must be kept hydrated and fed,” he said.
The Conservative Movement is split, pulled left by its reconstructionist-leaning wing and right by its more traditional elements. Therefore, teiku, it's a tie so let her die.
The Reconstructionists argue for Ms. Schiavo's death.
So, who is the voice of wisdom who properly noted that, because Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube was inserted when she was not near death and could still swallow on her own, removing the tube now constitutes murder?
Rabbi Marc Gellman, a Reform rabbi from Long Island, NY and former chairman of the now defunct UJA-Federation Medical Ethics Committee. Rabbi Gellman is better-known for teaming with Rev. Tom Hartman to form television's God Squad.
Perhaps Rabbi Bleich should start watching television.