Extraordinary measures can be medical or financial. Medical measures are medicines, surgeries or procedures whose outcome is not sure. Financial measures become extraordinary when it is beyond the capacity of persons to pay for medical expenses.
On April 15, 1975, Karen Ann Quinlan, 17 years old, became comatose. Her brain had stopped functioning. She was put on respirator and fed through tube. Keeping on respirator was considered extraordinary measure and feeding through tube ordinary measure. Some months later her respirator was removed but she continued to breathe and feeding through tube continued and she died in December 1985. Harvesting of Karenâ€™s organs after removing the respirator would have been killing her.