In his Message for the 24th World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis both acknowledges the difficulty of encountering sickness and reminds us of the opportunity it provides when he says faith in God during illness, “offers a key by which we can discover the deepest meaning of what we are experiencing.”
In keeping with the Holy Father’s sentiment, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops provides resources to assist with advance care planning. Designating a health care surrogate and providing guidance for end-of-life decisions is the best way to ensure that morally acceptable procedures are followed if you become incapacitated or unable to express your own wishes in the event of a medical emergency.
Three items, approved by the Catholic Bishops of Florida, are particularly useful:
- NEW! A Catholic Introduction to End-of-Life Planning is a new brochure that may help you as you begin your discussions with family, friends, health care providers and clergy.
- The Catholic Declaration on Life and Death (CDLD) combines a designation of health care surrogate and living will into one document and is designed to be completed and shared with your health care provider(s).
- Understanding the Catholic Declaration on Life and Death (UCDLD) is the companion to the CDLD and addresses common concerns and questions.