means of sustaining life

See: sustenance
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In 1980, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the papal office overseeing Catholic doctrine) adopted a "Declaration on Euthanasia" that noted that due to technological advancement, the delineation between ordinary and extraordinary means of sustaining life had grown muddled.
(9) One is not obligated to use any means of sustaining life that, in one's own judgment, either do not offer a reasonable hope of benefit or entail excessive--that is, disproportionate--burdens.
The Vatican's 1980 Declaration on Euthanasia reaffirms these principles and the nature of the moral obligation to use particular means of sustaining life. It stated: "It will be possible to make a correct judgment as to the means by studying the type of treatment to be used, its degree of complexity or risk, its cost and the possibilities of using it, and comparing these elements with the result that can be expected, taking into account the state of the sick person and his or her physical and moral resources." (11) Likewise, Pope John Paul II wrote in his 1995 encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae, "Certainly there is a moral obligation to care for oneself and to allow oneself to be cared for, but this duty must take account of concrete circumstances.