The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 23, Issue 2, Summer 2023

Recommendations for Revising the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services

Rev. Hyacinth Grubb, OP
Pages 259-266

Commentary on the Revised Part Two of the Ethical and Religious Directives

Part Two of the Ethical and Religious Directives outlines the responsibility to care for the spiritual needs of patients and residents, following the example of Christ who both healed the sick and forgave them their sins. The proposed revisions to the introduction add a more explicit focus on the dignity of the sick, the redemptive value of suffering, and the potential evangelization that takes place through institutional health care. The proposed revisions to the directives emphasize that patients and residents have a right to receive spiritual and sacramental care. Likewise, Catholic health care institutions, medical staff, and pastoral care personnel have an obligation to arrange and provide adequate spiritual and sacramental care.