The English medical profession struck the nail squarely many years ago with its stance on the 'right to die';
The Vatican, ever prolix, renders this unimaginatively asThou shalt not kill
But needst not strive
To keep alive
When inevitable death is imminent in spite of the means used, it is permitted in conscience to take the decision to refuse forms of treatment that would only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life, so long as the normal care due to the sick person in similar cases is not interrupted. Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate.I understand that Cardinal Martini refused the later treatments for his Parkinson's that would delay his natural death but strove until the last to fulfil his vocation with every living breath. May he rest in peace.