End of Life Care
What the Church Teaches about Life, Suffering, and Death
Every day, Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Baltimore are faced with emotional and complex decisions involving the lives of a loved one. From expectant parents who have received a difficult pre-natal diagnosis to children of an elderly parent facing a terminal illness, these decisions warrant the prayers of our family of faith, as well as the guidance of our Catholic Church.
Fortunately, the Church offers clear teaching on these and a range of other issues surrounding the care of individuals (including ourselves) who are ill and/or when death is imminent. The below resources are designed to make this teaching more accessible. Visitors to this site are encouraged to check back as new resources will be added and/or to call the Archdiocese’s Respect Life Office for additional help.
- “From Death into Life” bulletin insert (fall 2013)
- “Comfort & Consolation: Care of the Sick and Dying” pastoral letter of the MD-serving bishops (2007)
- National Catholic Bioethics Center’s Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decisions
- Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Fifth Edition
- Catholic Declaration on Healthcare Decision Making
For practical resources on end of life care planning, visit In Joyful Hope.