Bishops Offer Guidance on End of Life Decision-Making

Published on October 17th, 2011

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. The above video and accompanying website and printed booklet are designed to explain the moral principles of Catholic teaching with regard to end-of-life decision-making and to outline the options that exist  for advance care planning.

You can download the printed Now and at the Hour of Our Death: A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decision-Making in PDF form. A Spanish version is also available. (Una versión en español está aquí.) To order copies, call (518) 434-6195 or email Pricing is as follows (including media mail shipping):

Single copy:  free

2-99 copies: 75¢ each

100-399 copies: 60¢ each

400 plus copies: 55¢ each