Church Teachings - End of Life Issues

 

Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services

The purpose of the Ethical and Religious Directives issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is twofold: first, to reaffirm the ethical standards of behavior in health care that flow from the Church’s teaching about the dignity of the human person; and second, to provide authoritative guidance on certain moral issues that face Catholic health care today.

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Salvifici Dolores: On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering

Apostalic Letter from John Paul II on the mystery of suffering, its meaning, and the quest to answer the question of why we suffer.

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Declaration on Euthanasia

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 1980 declaration on euthanasia.

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Euthanasia and the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Article 5 of the Catechism, on the Fifth Commandment, sections 2258 to 2283, has information on the sanctity of human life and the issue of euthanasia (click "next" to access the sections).

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Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)

Pope John Paul II's 1995 Encyclical Letter on the Gospel of Life, sections 64 to 67 with special emphasis. 

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March 20, 2004, Address of Pope John Paul II on Life Sustaining Treatment

Address of John Paul II to the participants in the International Congress on life-sustaining treatments and the vegetative state.

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Responses to Certain Questions Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, August 1, 2007, responses to certain questions regarding artificial hydration and nutrition.

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Commentary on Artificial Nutrition and Hydration Questions and Responses

Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, August 1, 2007, expanded commentary on its responses to certain questions regarding artificial hydration and nutrition.

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To Live Each Day with Dignity: A Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on June 16, 2011 approved “To Live Each Day with Dignity: A Statement on Assisted Suicide”.

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USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities Euthanasia Website

This website contains more Church documents, articles, columns, fact sheets, and other information on the issue of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide.

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