I am curious, what do Orthodox Christians think about the Terri Schiavo affair in the USA?
See http://www.aish.com/societyWork/sciencenature/Should_Terri_Schiavo_Live _or_Die$.asp
for an Orthodox Jewish view.
I'll quote one excerpt from the first article
Let us take the example of Terri Schiavo. She is not brain dead nor is she terminally ill. She is brain damaged and remains in what appears to be a persistent vegetative state. All of her bodily functions are essentially normal, but she lacks the ability to "meaningfully" interact with the outside world (although her parents claim that she does minimally respond to their presence and to outside stimuli).
Her impairment is cognitive and Judaism does not recognize any less of a right to treatment for one cognitively impaired than one mentally astute.
It is a denial of the Jewish ideal of the fundamental value of life that drives the forces that wish to remove Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. While Judaism does recognize quality of life in certain circumstances (such as the incurable terminally ill patient in intractable pain mentioned above), the Torah does not sanction euthanasia in any situation. To remove the feeding tube from a patient whose only impairment is cognitive is simply murder.
We must ask ourselves when we view images of cognitively impaired patients such as Terri Schiavo whether the pain that we feel is Terri's or whether it is our own. While we may suffer watching movies of the severely brain damaged, it is our own thoughts of the horror of a life without cognition that drives us to project that pain onto the victim who may not be suffering at all.
and one from the second:
The general consensus in halachic literature [i.e. literature having to do with Jewish law] has been that certain treatments, such as oxygen, nutrition, and hydration are obligatory for all patients, regardless of the severity of their medical condition. This obligation is predicated upon the assumption that there are certain bodily needs that all people share, regardless of their prognosis, and that failing to provide for these needs constitutes a breach in the obligation to care for one's fellow man.
This line of reasoning considers breathing, eating, and drinking to be normal activities of daily living, and the providing of oxygen, nutrition, and hydration to be extensions of normal physiologic processes rather than medical interventions. [The late] Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach calls these treatments routine, and therefore not open to refusal or withdrawal, unlike certain other more "extraordinary" treatments that need not necessarily always be provided. He considers nutrition, hydration, and oxygen to be absolutely required, similar to antibiotics, insulin, and blood transfusions.