I’ve been mulling over the concept of extraordinary care lately and am not entirely sure I have it down. I’d like to present some scenarios to ya’ll and I’d like your input if I have it correct or not.
Firstly, my understanding is that it is morally permissible to cease extraordinary care even if it results in a death. It is however not ok to cease ordinary care that would result in a death. My confusion comes over where “extraordinary” and “ordinary” intersect. I understand that providing basic sustenance is ordinary. However:
Say a man is in the hospital with some type of condition where he is only being kept alive with a breathing machine. Is that extraordinary, since he is living solely because of a machine, or ordinary because we are talking about merely breathing?
Next, say a man has a terminal illness. He could receive a treatment that potentially extends his life an additional 15 years. He or a guardian decide not to do it and simply live out the rest of his days until the illness kills him. Is that denying ordinary care?
I guess boiled down my questions are, at what point do we “Royal we” become morally culpable? What makes care “extraordinary”?
Thanks for any insight