“There is no human life more sacred than another, just as there is no human life qualitatively more significant than another. The credibility of a health care system is not measured solely by efficiency, but above all by the attention and love given to the person, whose life is always sacred and inviolable.”
Pope Francis, September 20, 2013
Whether death comes unexpectedly or at the end of a long and full life, it is important for us to consider not only the spiritual dimension of death, but to think in a very practical way about how we would want the circumstances of our death to reflect our deepest beliefs.
Given the extraordinary advances in modern medicine, not only do we live longer, but even at the end stages of life, we often have available the means to prolong life far beyond what would have been possible in past generations. What should we do? When do we let go?
The Bishops of Maryland have revised and reissued their pastoral letter, Comfort and Consolation – Care of the Sick and Dying, to help parishioners begin conversations with loved ones on end-of-life issues and to re-focus attention on foundational principles of the Church’s approach to the care of the sick and dying.
Archbishop Lori has spoken out about hospice care which puts the needs of the patient first and allows them to live their final days pain free and with dignity.