The Gift of Palliative Care

Every year, the Archdiocese of Melbourne celebrates Respect Life Sunday in October. Focusing on respect for human life and the family, resources are produced to positively contribute to the conversations surrounding key issues in our community.  

This year, Respect Life Sunday is celebrated with the theme – Be Not Afraid: The Gift of Palliative Care. Resources developed focus on important end of life issues including planning for the end of life, palliative care and euthanasia.

Key resources produced include a printed brochure as well as video resources.
Respect Life Sunday 2015 Resources
 Resources mentioned in Be Not Afraid: The Gift of Palliative Care
  • My Future Care
    It is important to reflect on one’s future health care needs. This resource from Catholic Health Australia provides information for people considering their future health care needs, and guidance for health care professionals.
  • Advance Care Plans
    Advance care plan guidelines for patients and medical practitioners can be found on the website of Catholic Health Australia.
  • Real Love, Care & Compassion
    Produced by the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, this resource provides useful information on the dangers of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
  • Stephanie's Journey
    Stephanie Packer is a terminally ill wife and mother of four fighting against assisted suicide with a powerful story to tell.

Additional Resources

Personal Stories (Videos)

  • Death with Dignity
    This video features an inspirational message from a wife and mother of four with advanced incurable kidney cancer.
  • Kaye’s Story
    After being diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma Kaye experienced the invaluable gift of early intervention from a palliative care team, who provided her with necessary emotional and physical support.
  • Marmaduke’s Story
    Marmaduke’s story highlights the importance of holistic care for children living with potentially life-limiting illnesses as well as support for their family members.
  • Man of Steel
    When JJ was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer, he decided to fight for his wife, his son and his life with hope-filled determination.
  • Jeanette's Story: 15 Years Later
    Jeanette had less than a year to live when she asked her cancer doctor for the pills to commit suicide. Instead, her doctor encouraged her to consider treatment. 15 years later Jeanette is grateful to still be living.
  • Maggies's Story
    Inspired by her father’s example of dying gracefully, Maggie has a powerful story of hope and courage in the midst of her brain cancer battle.
  • Embracing Life
    Featuring moving testimonials from palliative patients and hospital staff, as well as year 10 students who talk about how markedly their perspective on life and death changed after spending time at a palliative care hospital.
Useful Websites
  • HOPE: Preventing Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide
    HOPE is a coalition of groups and individuals who oppose the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
  • Palliative Care Australia
    Palliative Care Australia is the peak national body for palliative care in Australia.
  • Palliative Care Victoria
    Palliative Care Victoria is the peak body representing palliative care providers, consumers and their families and those with an interest in palliative care in Victoria.
  • Dignity in Care Toolkit
    Practical tools to support those working in health care, to assist in addressing their patient's emotional needs with compassion and respect.


  • What Would We Lose By Legalising Euthanasia?
    Professor Margaret Somerville urges careful consideration of the effects that legalising euthanasia would have on the values and symbols that make up the fabric of our society.
  • Apostolate of Death
    Aaron Kheriaty, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at University of California Irvine School of Medicine, exposes the dangers of a culture that honours and exalts those who deliberately reject life.
  • Mum Wanted to Die so that She Wouldn't Be a Burden
    Palliative Care professor, Baroness Ilora Finlay explains how her mother reassessed her death wish following an encounter with a hospital chaplain who rallied her will to live.

Church Teaching



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