examples from the tradition

More Fxamples From the Tradition

Francisco de Vitoria OP – 1546 – (if) “only with the greatest of effort and as though by means of a certain torture, can the sick man take food, right away he is reckoned a certain impossibility, and therefore he is excused … especially where there is little hope of life”

Dominic Soto – 1560 – discusses amputation

Dominic Banez – 1604 – “media ordinata” and “media extraordinaria”

Lessius, SJ – 1623 – psychological factors can excuse

Cardinal de Lugo – 1660 – “The good of his life is not of such great moment, however, that its conservation must be effected with extraordinary diligence: it is one thing not to neglect and rashly throw it away, to which a man is bound: it is another however, to seek after it and retain it by exquisite means as it is escaping away from him, to which he is not held.” … a famous example of his – if trapped in a fire with enough water to only delay the inevitable one does not need to use the water

Salmanticenses (17th century) “ … neither is a sick individual in desperate condition bound to employ very costly remedies, even though he should know that with these remedies his life would be extended for some hours, or days or even years.”

Alphonsus Liguori – 1784 – no obligation to use costly or uncommon medicine … no need to change place of residence to a more healthful location … no one is held to employ extraordinary and very difficult means (amputation) in order to conserve his life …

Pius XII – 1957 – “…normally one is held to use only ordinary means – according to the circumstances of persons, places, times and culture – … means that do not involve any grave burden for oneself or another. A stricter obligation would be too burdensome for most people and would render the attainment of the higher, more important good too difficult…Life, health, all temporal activities are in fact subordinated to spiritual ends. On the other hand, one is not forbidden to take more than the strictly necessary steps to preserve life and health, as long as one does not fail in some more serious duty.”

Iura et Bona (Declaration on Euthanasia) – 1980 – (refusing extraordinary treatment) “ … should be considered an acceptance of the human condition, a wish to avoid the application of a medical procedure disproportionate to the results that can be expected, a desire not to impose excessive expense on the family or the community.”