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The Catholic Church

In Victoria, the Catholic Church operates 26 hospitals along with 89 aged care, hospice and palliative care facilities. In doing so, we follow Jesus’ call to comfort the sick and the duty to look after those in need.

Catholics believe that the human person is a unity of body, mind and soul. For this reason, health care should not focus solely on the body (with symptom control), but also provide emotional and spiritual support.

Catholic health services apply this holistic understanding by uniting medical expertise with pastoral and spiritual care. This is especially true for palliative care, where the medical focus shifts from cure to comfort.

Catholics also recognise that human beings live, interact and die in the context of a community. This recognition impacts on end of life care in two ways. First, best practice care will attempt to surround the patient with a supportive community at the end of life.  Second, it is understood the death of a person does not only affect the individual, but also family, friends, health care providers and the wider community. Catholic health care is “communitarian”: we see the patient in the context of community rather than in an “individualistic” mode which could treat people as an isolated or detached unit.

The Catholic Church's response to the End of Life Choices Inquiry is outlined in the following submissions:
The Catholic Church's response to the work of the Ministerial Advisory Panel is outlined below:

For further information on the Church’s teaching in this area see:


When Life is Ending

Real love, care & compassion