Ethical and Religious Directives: A document to provide guidance in beginning and end of life issues
The purpose of the ERD is to reaffirm the ethical standards of behavior in health care that flow from the Church's teaching about the dignity of the human person, and to provide authoritative guidance on certain moral issues that face Catholic health care today. These "moral teachings that we profess flow principally from the natural law, understood in the light of the revelation Christ has entrusted to his Church. From this source the Church has derived its understanding of the nature of the human person, of human acts, and of the goals that shape human activity." These Directives are a "witness to the sanctity of life 'from the moment of conception until death.'"
There are two sections of the ERD that are most pertinent to beginning and end of life issues
Issues in Care for the Beginning of Life
Part four is grounded in the "Church's commitment to . . . the dignity of marriage and of the marriage act by which human life is transmitted." It covers many related topics including: contraception, infertility, and reproductive technologies.
Issues in Care for the Seriously Ill and Dying
Part five is rooted in "Christ's redemption and saving grace embrac[ing] the whole person, especially in his or her illness, suffering, and death." It covers topics such as pain management, suicide and euthanasia, the use of life-sustaining technology, medically assisted nutrition and hydration, organ donation, and those being in a "persistent vegetative state" (PVS).
In addition to the Ethical and Religious Directives PDF published by the USCCB (linked below), the Diocese of Dallas has an End of Life Issues page on their website which has additional information including Advance Directives and Medical Power of Attorney, as well as a pointer to A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decisions by The National Catholic Bioethics Center.
Should you have further questions or require additional guidance in these areas, please contact the parish Pastoral Associate, Deacon Tony Silvestro at email@example.com or (972) 712-2645 x251.