Continual advances in medical technology bring many blessings but also pose complex ethical questions. While many of us avoid thinking about illness and death, they are a reality. We encourage you to take time now, before a crisis, to prayerfully consider your wishes with your Catholic faith in mind, to talk with family members, and to put your wishes in writing.
The resources here will help you in this process, and bring comfort and peace.
NEW! Catholic health care decision making plus advanced care directive form
Talking with family about your health care wishes
The Conversation Project (outside resource)
Support for caregivers
Hospice and palliative care information
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (outside resource)
Pastoral letter from Maryland Bishops
Comfort and Consolation: Care for the sick and dying is a pastoral letter from the Catholic Bishops of Maryland (2014) to assist Catholics in Maryland with reflecting upon and preparing for illness and the end of life in the context of Catholic teaching. The letter was developed in consultation with moral theologians, health care and legal experts, and includes the health care directive form also provided in the Maryland Catholic Declaration for Health Care Decision Making.
Parish toolkit (access here)
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