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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

New Model Catholic Health Care Ethics Policies

Patient in a hospital

Patient in a hospital

Center web resources highlight ethical and religious directives

When is it permissible to withhold or withdraw patient treatments? Can we participate in organ donation using cardiac death criteria? How do we make crucial health care decisions on behalf of those who cannot, when they have no surrogate decision maker?

In Catholic health care, treatment and policy decisions like these must be made in accordance with Church teachings, yet these policies are not always readily available. The Center is pleased to announce new resources on our website that address complex treatment issues posing significant moral and ethical questions. The policies are congruent with the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs), guiding statements by the United States of Catholic Bishops that unite Catholic teachings with relevant areas in healthcare.

Policies offered as examples of good practice and appropriate for use in Catholic health care settings include:

  • Health Care Decisions for Incapacitated Patients Without Surrogates
  • Medically Ineffective Intervention Model
  • Organ Donation after Circulatory Death
  • Withholding and/or Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Intervention/Care of the Dying Patient
Jul 17, 2017


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