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December 7, 2016

For more information:
Mary Massingale, Director of Communications

Catholic Conference of Illinois issues updated guidance on end-of-life care

CHICAGO – The Catholic Conference of Illinois today announced the publication of a new booklet offering guidance on end-of-life health plans, “Encouraging End-of-Life Conversations: A Catholic Perspective on Advance Directives.”

20161207ADBooklet Fall2016Advance directives are legal documents that outline medical treatments an individual wants – or not – as they grow older or reach a health status in which they cannot speak for themselves. The documents also allow individuals to appoint an agent to carry out their wishes.

CCI Executive Director Robert Gilligan encouraged Catholics of all ages to consider the booklet, which may be downloaded for free in English, Spanish or Polish at www.ilcatholic.org/cci-offers-updated-guidance-on-advance-directives-for-end-of-life-care/.

“End-of-life care can be a difficult conversation to have with family members,” Gilligan said. “We hope we can relieve some of the stress with this guidance.”

The 28-page, full-color booklet explains the various types of advance directives, which one is recommended by Catholic health care ethicists, and how to select an agent.

Gilligan noted that these key legal forms, especially the health care power of attorney, are especially important since Medicare now covers conversations about advance care planning between patients and their doctors. The booklet includes the updated Illinois health care power of attorney form that went into effect on Jan. 1, with additional suggestions Catholics may want to consider.

Information for the booklet and the additional Catholic options was vetted by Catholic health care ethicists and lawyers.


The Catholic Conference of Illinois was created in 1969 to serve as the public policy voice of the Illinois bishops and the six dioceses of the state: Belleville, Chicago, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield-in-Illinois.