MADISON -- Earlier this year, the Catholic bishops of Wisconsin published a form aimed at helping individuals convey their desires regarding advance care planning in a manner that aligns with Catholic principles.
The form, which was published in one version for those who are Catholic and in another version for those who are not, is designed as an addendum to the State of Wisconsin’s Power of Attorney for Health Care (POAHC) document.
The newly revised edition of the form provides greater clarity for users regarding the Church’s teaching on nutrition and hydration.
Section II of the addendum is entitled “Desires, Provisions, and Limitations for my Health Care” and details the principles, concerns, and considerations that a health care agent should employ when making a decision for the person who completed the form.
Item three of this section deals explicitly with the provision of nutrition and hydration and was altered to provide a more comprehensive explanation of when the provision of nutrition and hydration is morally obligatory.
While the original addendum is in harmony with Church teaching, individuals are encouraged to use the revised form.
If an individual has already completed the addendum, he or she may consider completing the revised form in its place, or at a minimum, provide further clarification to their health care agent and others by supplying them with the language in Section II, item three of the revised form.
The revised POAHC addenda are available at no cost on the Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC) website at www.wisconsincatholic.org along with a question and answers document.
For further information on these publications, contact the WCC at 608-257-0004 or