Catholic Supply of St. Louis, Inc.

Serving the Faithful Since 1960

The health care system in the United States is marked by both extraordinary challenges and immense possibilities for good. In these revised Directives, the US Catholic bishops reaffirm the Church's commitment to Catholic health care ministry, in faithful imitation of Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician. The Directives aim to reaffirm ethical standards of behavior and provide authoritative guidance on moral issues that face health care today.

This sixth edition (2018) offers a helpful update of Part Six, “Collaborative Arrangements with Other Health Care Organizations and Providers.” This revised section offers background and guidelines for collaborative arrangements between Catholic and non-Catholic health care institutions.

The Directives are especially relevant to institutionally based Catholic health care services and are directly addressed to “sponsors, trustees, administrators, chaplains, physicians, health care personnel, and patients or residents” of Catholic health care institutions. These Directives are also useful as a teaching tool to give sound guidance to students and faculty at Catholic medical schools, Catholic medical associations, Catholic hospitals and medical facilities, and to all pastors, administrators, doctors, nurses, and staff involved in the health care ministry and related pastoral care.


  • Preamble
  • General Introduction
  • Part One: The Social Responsibility of Catholic Health Care Services
  • Part Two: The Pastoral and Spiritual Responsibility of Catholic Health Care
  • Part Three: The Professional-Patient Relationship
  • Part Four: Issues in Care for the Beginning of Life
  • Part Five: Issues in Care for the Seriously Ill and Dying
  • Part Six: Collaborative Arrangements with Other Health Care Organizations and Providers
  • Conclusion