At the very heart of Catholic health and aged care is a distinctively person-centred vision based on belief in the essential dignity of each human person. Catholic services seek above all to foster a healing environment that promotes a culture of life. In striving to act in the best interest of patients, residents and families Catholic services are called on to making reasoned choices about often complex matters that require careful attention to the needs and circumstances of those being cared for. Catholic health and aged care is supported in this endeavor by a range of resources.

Catholic Health Australia's Code of Ethical Standards sets out the basic principles of care in the Catholic tradition and applies across all Catholic health, aged and community care services. Click here to access the Code of Ethical Standards, which can be downloaded for free.

The CHA Bioethics Forum was established in 2009 to enable national liaison and closer networking between Catholic Bioethics Centres and the Bioethics Committees of Catholic Hospitals and Aged Care services. Further information about the deliberations of the Forum can be obtained by emailing Anthony Gooley.

Further resources can be found by following links to the local Catholic Bioethics centres.

Advance care planning

The CHA Advance Care Planning documents offer guidelines for people facing the consequences of illness or advancing age who are making decisions about their ongoing care. These documents were prepared through collaboration between the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Health Australia. Click here to access the Advance Care Planning documents.

Surrogacy and same-sex attraction

In May 2014, Catholic Health Australia released guidelines for Catholic hospitals seeking to construct policies for responding to requests for surrogate births and for Catholic hospitals and aged care services regarding the care for and accommodation of same-sex attracted people.

  • Click here to read the guidelines for surrogacy.
  • Click here to read the guidelines for care and accommodation of same-sex attracted people.

Ethics Matters

This is the first in a new series of articles, entitled Ethics Matters, which will be commissioned and published regularly by Catholic Health Australia. Publication will be overseen by an editorial committee comprised of Dr Bernadette Tobin, AO, Director of the Plunkett Centre for Ethics, the Australian Catholic University, St Vincent’s Network Sydney & Calvary Healthcare; Rev Joe Parkinson, Consultant to the L J Goody Bioethics Centre; and Dr Dan Fleming, Group Manager Ethics & Formation at St Vincent's Health Australia.

Additional resources

The following papers have been prepared for CHA and its members, and many have appeared in Health Matters, CHA's quarterly magazine:

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