[quote="rpp, post:2, topic:196871"]
Extraordinary medical care, including life support is not a moral imperative. ** A person can choose to refuse any type of medical care,** particularly invasive or thoroughly artificial treatments. It is even permitted for people to make such a choice ahead of time. Thus, in certain cirsumstances, it can be morally permissible to "pull the plug" on artificial life support machines. However, this can never apply to food and hydration, which can normally never be denied.
Organ donation and cremation are also permitted. However, the remains must be treated with respect and, in the case of cremation, the ashes must be kept together and interred. They cannot be divided, set on the fireplace mantel, or spread somewhere.
(Bolded part above) is not entirely correct, as I read it. We cannot choose to refuse any type of medical care, unless we are "dying"; perhaps that's what you meant. Yes, heroic measures can be refused, but "any" is not necessarily correct, unless you meant any type of extrodinary medical care in a terminal patient.
Refusing extrodinary care for a patient who has a relatively good chance of recovery, for example, is a different matter, such as someone who is in a car accident and has life-threatening internal damage that requires immediate extensive surgery.
Problematic is the patient who is in a state of permanent dementia who keeps pulling out feeding tubes. The question is in such a patient, "is it a moral imperative to keep putting in feeding tubes 5,6,7 times daily and/or sedating them into almost a coma to maintain feeding and hydration?"
The answer lies in the other factors in the patient's health status; not a single one of these patients exists in a vacuum. Is the patient terminal, etc. are things that need to be considered.
Some patients fall between the lines of clear morality in their medical choices; that's why moral theologians struggle to help us understand the application of Church teachings in this area.