New group will serve as a resource to other Catholics in determining how their faith informs views on end-of-life planning and options 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Compassion & Choices, the oldest, largest, and most active nonprofit working to expand and improve healthcare options at the end of life, today announced the creation of Catholics for Compassion, a group of practicing Catholics committed to helping others to learn how their faith can help them make thoughtful decisions about the end-of-life care they want. 

The group will serve as a resource for other practicing Catholics looking for guidance on how their faith intersects with planning an end-of-life experience aligned with their personal values and priorities. The panel will also advise Compassion & Choices on education efforts and continuing dialogue about expanding end-of-life options for all.

Today’s launch coincides with the Feast Day of Saint Antoninus, the patron saint of compassion, social ethics, and choice to honor his call for each Catholic to realize the power of their own conscience in making difficult decisions and knowing that God is present in that journey. When speaking about conscience, St. Antoninus wrote, “thus with practice a man becomes strong and firm, at peace in his spiritual life. If a piece of wood is bent and one wishes to straighten it, one must bend it back in the opposite direction.”

“At Compassion & Choices, we acknowledge and respect people’s individual beliefs and know that a person’s faith can play a vital role as they make decisions about the kind of death they want for themselves or their loved ones,” said Kim Callinan, President and CEO of Compassion & Choices. “Catholics for Compassion, made up of caring and committed advocates, will serve as a great resource for practicing Catholics as they think about their end-of-life journey.” 

"As a Catholic, I respect everyone's individual relationship with God,” said Maria Otero, a member of Catholics for Compassion. “We have a freedom to speak directly to God and decide on the best care for ourselves and our families. It's okay to ask for end-of-life care options that fit our needs." 

Resources such as testimonials, articles, and more can be found on the Catholics for Compassion page on the Compassion & Choices website.