The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has partnered with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) to provide reliable references, thorough explanations, and case-based guidance so you can form your conscience with Catholic teaching when making health care decisions.

The NCBC’s Mission and Vision

Our society faces unprecedented scientific developments that touch upon the mysteries of life and pose serious ethical challenges. The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) was established in 1972 to reflect on these issues and to promote and safeguard the dignity of the human person in health care and the life sciences. All of the NCBC’s work is done in conformity with the official teachings of the Catholic Church, teachings drawn from a moral tradition that acknowledges the unity of faith and reason and builds on the solid foundation of the natural law. The NCBC works to achieve its mission of upholding the dignity of the human person by providing education, guidance, and resources to strengthen the integrity and witness of the Church’s healing ministry.

The NCBC’s education draws on the deepest resources of the Catholic faith to help people address challenging ethical issues in clinical practice and research. Notably, since 1980, we have hosted a workshop on pressing issues and developments in the area of medical morality, which is attended by over one hundred bishops from across North America. The Center has always enjoyed the strong support of a large number of bishops. Today, a majority of US dioceses, and numerous foreign dioceses, receive the benefits of their affiliation with the NCBC.

The NCBC’s guidance helps individuals and institutions apply Catholic moral principles to specific situations with integrity. Perhaps most significant, our ethicists also are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide bioethical guidance, free of charge, to patients and families facing difficult medical decisions. The NCBC also is a leading publisher of books and articles on Catholic health care ethics and produces a wide range of electronic resources for professionals and the public.

The NCBC envisions a world in which the integral understanding of the human person underlying Catholic teaching on respect for human life and dignity is better understood and more widely embraced in America and worldwide.

End-of-life Guides

  • A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decisions explains core concepts in medical decision-making, including redemptive suffering, ordinary and extraordinary means, and advance care planning. The guide also includes templates for a health care proxy and a living will.
  • A Catholic Guide to POLST provide guidance for filling out documents that patients can use to document their treatment preferences across multiple health care setting, including benefits and concerns with common forms. The guide also includes a template physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST).
  • A Catholic Guide to Palliative Care and Hospice describes the differences between palliative care and hospice and identifies common moral issues that can arise when receiving hospice. The guide also includes a checklist for evaluating programs and facilities.

Free Service: Church Teaching for Health Care Decisions

Contact NCBC for a free, confidential Personal Ethics Consultation on topics including end-of-life care, assisted nourishment, and hospice; avoiding, achieving, or managing pregnancy; biomedical research; cooperating with the wrongdoing of others; and many more.

Monthly Bulletin inserts for Parishes

These are representative samples – if you do not receive them or if you would like to sign up please contact Pro-Life Office at

  • The Bioethics Public Policy Report summarizes legislative, regulatory, and judicial developments on life issues at both the state and federal levels to help Catholics stay informed on all these topics and hold their representatives accountable to their values.
  • Living a Catholic Life fills a gap in adult catechesis by introducing parishioners to different tools for thinking like a Catholic. These include reflections on the components of the moral act, principles like double effect and totality, and larger concepts like the integrated view of the human person.
  • Making Sense of Bioethics, Tad Pacholczyk’s long-running, syndicated column, answers common question on topics ranging from ventilator support to helping friends and family through a difficult pregnancy.


NCBC Website:

The National Catholic Bioethics Center
600 Reed Rd., ste. 102
Broomall, PA 19008