Now and at the Hour of Our Death: A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decision Making
Advances in medical technologies bring with them new means of curing disease and living longer, healthier lives than ever before. But they can also be the source of heightened patient anxiety about a needlessly prolonged, painful and expensive dying process. Medical advances bring with them new and complex questions with regard to medical treatments and moral decision-making.
Our Catholic faith offers both a long tradition of reflection and Church teaching to help guide us through these multifaceted issues. It is important not to let the struggle over such questions eclipse what should be transcendent and grace-filled moments in the dying process: attending to spiritual needs, healing broken relationships, and saying good-bye.
Difficult decisions about the use of medical technology at the end of life may be made easier if we take the time to express our wishes about end-of-life treatments before illness strikes. This guide is designed to explain the moral principles of Catholic teaching with regard to end-of-life decision-making and to outline the options that exist in New York State for advance care planning.
You can download the A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decision-Making in PDF form.
© New York State Catholic Conference — Original Article