Whole Person Care
“As Church and Catholic health care leaders in California, we believe that physician-assisted suicide, while legal, is not yet an entrenched cultural or clinical reality. Recognizing this, we are committed to developing together, and in collaboration with other leaders in the palliative care field, a medical and pastoral approach to care through the end of life that provides a dignified, compassionate, and loving alternative to physician-assisted suicide for seriously ill people and their families. Our intent is to create a Church and Catholic health care collaborative model that serves our California parishioners and patients well, and that can be replicated by Church and Catholic health care leaders in other states.”
The Whole Person Care Initiative is a collaborative project of the California Catholic Conference and the Alliance of Catholic Health Care. This initiative has a two-fold purpose:
- Strengthen and improve the availability of Whole Person Care and palliative care in Catholic health systems and their hospitals;
- Develop and implement Whole Person Care programs in dioceses and parishes.
- The Health Care Systems and Dioceses commit to the implementation of Whole Person Care in each of their hospitals and parishes. Each Health Care Ministry and Diocese will achieve continuous improvement over time in their Whole Person Care programs, based on their current and future budgets and strategic priorities.
- The Initiative will provide each Health Ministry, Diocese and Parish with tools, resources, guidance, and other supports to implement Whole Person Care. The Health Ministries and Parishes will annually report their progress to their Health Care Systems and Dioceses, which then would report their overall progress to the Leadership Council.
Persons in our congregations, communities and health care systems are loved, wanted and worthy, and will be prepared for and supported in health and serious illness through the end of life.
WHAT CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING COMPELS US TO OFFER THE SUFFERING, DISABLED, AND DYING IN OUR PARISHES, HOSPITALS, AND COMMUNITIES:
Adapted from: Ira R. Byock, MD, PSJH Institute for Human Caring
- Providing shelter from the elements: We say to the other person, “We will keep you warm and dry.”
- Maintaining hygiene: “We will keep you clean.”
- Assisting with elimination: “We will help you with your bowel and bladder function.”
- Offering food and drink: “We will offer you something to eat and drink—and help you to do it.”
- Keeping company, non-abandonment: “We will be with you. You will not have to go through this time in your life alone.”
- Alleviating suffering: “We will do whatever we can, with as much skill and expertise as available, to lessen your discomfort.”
Our Mission: To a wounded world in need of healing and compassion, Emmaus Spiritual Ministries brings together all paths leading to God.
Our Vision: Emmaus Spiritual Ministries serves as a sacred epicenter responding to spiritual needs of local and global communities of faith.
Our Values: We value the inherent dignity and spiritual nature of the human person. We desire to serve with mutuality, collaboration and compassion. We guide our endeavors within a climate of discernment.
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