Ordinary vs. Extraordinary Means
Death is a part of life and will affect everyone at some point in their lives. The article, “End-of-Life Ethics: Preparing Now for the Hour of Death” by Kenneth R. Overberg, S.J. is a uncomfortable and taboo topic. What do you do when you’re about to die? What would you want? This article describes Catholic’s opinion on the matter of using extraordinary measures and what someone can do to prevent conflict, such as living wills and legal documents.
Catholics in general, support ordinary measures to keep people alive, however when extraordinary measures are taken, they tend to not encourage that. They believe it’s God’s decision to decide when you’ll see him again, and to use extraordinary measures to extend your life is not encouraged. Although they don’t believe in extending your physical life past a certain point, they don’t believe in shortening your life on account of pain, burden, or a feeling of losing control. Catholics stand up against euthanasia, suicide, and assisted suicide as it is inhumane. We are to trust in God when it’s our time to be reunited with him. They urge people to prepare for your time of death by using tools such as living wills and legal documents, which would not only help the doctors, but your family as well. To conclude, Catholics do not believe in keeping life sustained at all costs, and do not accept control mechanisms to shorten your life, but believe that you should alloq your life to go its natural course and accept it’s your time to be with God.
1. Why is the criteria for “ordinary” vs. “extraordinary” not strictly defined?
a. I think that if you didn’t say ordinary measures, people would assume that it was more like Christian Scientists, where you don’t do anything. They put ordinary measures in there because there’s no strict definition anywhere for “ordinary” measures, and who are Catholics to