Catholic Conference of Illinois booklet encourages end-of-life conversations

CHICAGO — A new booklet offering guidance on end-of-life health planning from a Catholic perspective is being offered by the Catholic Conference of Illinois.

“Encouraging End-of-Life Conversations: A Catholic Perspective on Advance Directives” is available for free download in English, Spanish or Polish at

“End-of-life care can be a difficult conversation to have with family members,” said Robert Gilligan, CCI executive director. “We hope we can relieve some of the stress with this guidance,” he added, encouraging Catholics of all ages to consider the booklet.

Adavnce directives are legal documents that outline medical treatments and individual wants — or does not want — 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.

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

The booklet includes the updated Illinois health care power of attorney form that went into effect on Jan. 1.

The Catholic Conference of Illinois is the public policy voice of the Illinois bishops and the six dioceses within the state. For more information on the booklet, call (312) 368-1066.

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