A Breakdown of the Catholic Health Care Directive Form
Do you want to ensure your end-of-life health care wishes are respected but fear they will interfere with your religious views? The Catholic health care directive form ensures that the declarant gets the treatment they wish while abiding by the principles of the Church’s teachings.
A health care directive helps the declarant make their wishes clear about any potential medical treatment (or lack thereof) if their medical practitioner diagnoses a terminal illness.
Both a standard and a Catholic advance medical directive typically consist of three documents:
|Power of attorney for health care||Regulates the appointment of a responsible party (also known as a health care agent) to make decisions regarding medical care on behalf of the declarant|
|Health care proxy||Usually serves the same purpose as a power of attorney for health care but doesn’t cover financial matters|
|Living will||Allows the declarant to specify in detail the circumstances surrounding their end-of-life medical treatment|
A standard advance directive form gives you full freedom to decide about your future treatment and after-death procedures, but the Catholic version of a living will has specific rules regarding:
- Pain medication
- Complex medical treatment
- Artificial nutrition and hydration
- Access to spiritual care
Every health care directive that abides by the teachings of the Catholic Church becomes a Catholic living will.
The Catholic Church supports pain relief, but the medication must not hasten death or make the patient unconscious for any reason. The Church supports the idea of relieving the patient of pain.
Sudden decisions regarding treatment are considered forced. The Church suggests that the declarant:
- Consults their future health care proxy and assigned physician about potential outcomes and required treatment
- Does not make decisions in advance but rather chooses a responsible health care proxy to do it for them when necessary
The Catholic Church considers food and water essential, but according to doctors, the insertion of feeding tubes and the use of similar equipment is part of medical treatment. The Church forgives the interruption of the patient's feeding when the patient is nearing death and the food is doing him more harm than good.
Life is considered the gift of God, so the Catholic Church strictly prohibits euthanasia in all forms, including physician-assisted suicide (PAS).
The Catholic Church believes every Catholic Christian deserves the right to spiritual care in their time of need. Through the seven sacraments, the patient is united with God and strengthens their belief in the divine and the afterlife.
Hiring a lawyer to compose a health care directive for you can be pricey, but don’t fret! DoNotPay can help you create a personalized living will according to your beliefs and principles in a jiffy! All you need to do is:
- Sign up for DoNotPay
- Type Advance Health Care Directive in the search bar
- Specify the types of treatment you would (or wouldn’t) like to receive in the future
- Designate your health care agent
Once you complete all steps, you need to:
- Sign the advance health directive
- Find two witnesses to sign the document
- Get the document notarized
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