Guidelines | working with people who choose “assisted dying"

Published on 28th Oct, 2021

The bishops have written a pastoral statement and a set of guidelines for chaplains, priests and other Catholic professionals who care for the dying. The Church’s Te Kupenga-Catholic Leadership Institute has been organising workshops on working with the law.

The Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand opposed the End of Life Choice Act Referendum held at the 2020 general election. However the referendum was passed.

Bishop Lowe said “medically assisted dying” or euthanasia would not be offered in Catholic rest homes or hospices, just as many non-Catholic carers would not offer it.

“However, it will become available in a number of hospitals and other public care facilities throughout the country. These are the places of work or ministry for some of our Catholic community. We do not need to deny the objective wrong of euthanasia in order to accompany, with consolation and hope, those who might feel drawn or pushed towards this type of death,” said Bishop Lowe.

“The legal availability of euthanasia in New Zealand does not change Catholic convictions about the practice. At the same time, our faith tells us there is no place or situation, no matter how uncomfortable, where our faith cannot be expressed, or God’s grace encountered.”

Go to these links for PDFs of the Pastoral Statement and the Guidelines from the bishops.

Have a question? We can help. Get in touch with the Diocese.