Catholic End-of-Life Care Decisions


Who will speak for me when I cannot speak for myself? 
How do I ensure that the decisions made about my health care are morally correct?

Making sound moral decisions in the face of serious illness is difficult, especially if you are in the midst of suffering. It may be even more difficult for your family and friends who want to act in your best interests and cannot clearly see what that may be.

Learn what Catholic teaching says about moral obligations related to end-of-life decisions. Take the time to fill out an advance health care directive for yourself and loved ones.


Minnesota Catholic Health Care Directive

MCC has prepared the document, “Health Care Directives: A Catholic Perspective.” This document is a guide that answers basic questions about law, Church teaching, and completing a health care directive. Within the booklet, you will find a Minnesota Catholic Health Care Directive that meets our state’s legal requirements and reflects our Catholic teaching. Linked below is also a one-page version of the directive without the guide.

Guide To End-Of-Life Care Decisions

Additionally, MCC has prepared a guide to end-of-life care decisions. This is a brief ethical primer on medical decisions regarding life-sustaining treatments in the Catholic Tradition. It is a supplement to “Health Care Directives: A Catholic Perspective.”

Downloads/Bulk Orders

You can download and print individual copies (large print or booklet editions) of the Catholic Health Care Directive and the End-of-Life Care Decisions Guide by clicking the links below.

If you are interested in bulk ordering copies of the health care directive, please contact Allegra Printing (formerly Griffith Printing) in St. Paul for pricing and to place your order. Their phone number is 651-645-1224. To use a different printing company, you may download the versions marked, “For Professional Printing,” which include the necessary crop and bleed marks.

The Minnesota Catholic Conference can also mail you a copy. Call us at 651-227-8777 to make a request.

Downloadable PDFs:


Parish Presentations

Parishes and organizations doing presentations on the two guides do not need permission to do so and can bring in their own speakers. That being said, listed below are the speakers approved by each diocese to give presentations on the guides and end-of-life matters generally. It is custom to provide speakers with honoraria for their time and any associated expenses with their presentation.

Diocese of Winona:

Diocese of St. Cloud:

Diocese of New Ulm:

The Knights of Columbus, Catholic United Financial, and Catholic Community Foundation are interested in sponsoring presentations on end-of-life planning with parishes and organizations. If you would like to connect with them about programming and ways in which they can help provide resources for events, please contact the following:

  • Knights of Columbus: TBD
  • Catholic United Financial:  Steve Wendorf, Director of Marketing, 651-490-0170
  • Catholic Community Foundation: TBD

National Catholic Bioethics Center

For consultation requests, questions regarding the Church’s teaching on bioethical issues, guidance in moral decision-making, or for other matters to be directed to an NCBC ethicist, email In emergency situations, an NCBC ethicist is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 215-877-2660. NCBC ethicists do not provide legal or medical advice.