End of Life Issues

Advance Medical Directives

Looking for an Advance Medical Directive (AMD) that will support your Catholic beliefs and values? This one created as a collaboration between the Dioceses of Richmond and Arlington is available for your use with language written into it that is specific to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Advanced Medical Directive Guide & Forms

Directivas Médicas Anticipadas Católicas

Medical Dilemmas and Moral Decision-Making Guide (Q&A)

Additionally, check out the following resources for assistance in creating an AMD:

  • The Patient’s Rights Council. They offer a variety of services including a pre-drafted PMDD (Protective Medical Decisions Document) that upholds the integrity of Catholic teaching in your end of life decisions. This Advance Directive is for general use and will involve some tweaking to conform to state laws, however may be useful for those who are close to state borders who may end up in a hospital across state lines, or who have large military populations and may have residents from other states as parishioners.
  • The NCBC (National Catholic Bioethics Center) is a great source for articles and information relating to bioethical issues relating to all stages of life, including:
    • a succinct Model Policy developed by Dr. Marie Hilliard, JCL, PhD, RN “…offered as a prototype for Catholic health care agencies as they engage in the ministry of health care, founded on the innate dignity of each human being, regardless of the ‘quality of life’ assigned by society…[and] designed to allow local legal experts to incorporate legal standards specific to the locale of the Catholic health care agency.”

As always, those with an AMD should also have a trusted individual with whom they have discussed their wishes for end-of-life care so that this individual can act as a healthcare proxy on behalf of the patient.