St. Thomas More Society

Dallas, TX

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model forms for end-of-life issues

At the Bishop's request, the St. Thomas More Society helped create model forms for living wills ("advance directives") and medical power of attorney that comply with Catholic teaching and Texas law. The Bishop approved this Advance Directive form and this Medical Power of Attorney form in 2015. 

We encourage you to use these forms to handle end-of-life care for Texas residents. We welcome your comments on the forms.


History of the Bishop's End-of-Life Project:

In fall of 2009, Bishop Kevin J. Farrell asked the St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Dallas to prepare a model Directive to Physicians (a.k.a "Living Will") and Medical Power of Attorney for use by Texas Catholics.  Society President Mark Cronenwett appointed a committee, which prepared drafts and circulated them to other lawyers, physicians, and ethicists in the field.  The committee was chaired by Ellen Eisenlohr Dorn, and its members included Thomas Brandt, Mark Cronenwett, Vince Hess, Kimberly Lawler, and Jeff Turner.

The committee's final work was presented to the Bishop on September 1, 2009.  The Bishop reviewed these documents, consulted with various advisors, and approved the original forms in December 2010. Due to changes in state legislation, the Bishop has since approved revised forms, which are available in the links above. 


  • 17 Sep 2015 3:51 PM | Ellen Dorn (Administrator)

    The 2015 Texas Legislature amended the Advance Directives Act in 2015.  Most notably, the Legislature changed the term “Artificial Nutrition and Hydration” (“ANH”) to “Artificially Administered Nutrition and Hydration,” (“AANH”) and also codified certain situations when a hospital is required to continue to administer AANH, even after a hospital has determined that life sustaining treatments should be discontinued.  The Texas Catholic Conference was a major supporter of this bill.

    The St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Dallas has revised the Advance Directive form that we prepared for the Diocese in 2009.  This new version was approved by Bishop Farrell in September, 2015, for use by all Catholics in the Diocese.  Please download the new form here. 

    A companion Catholic Medical Power of Attorney is also available for use and the Society highly recommends that all Catholics have a medical power of attorney in place.   You can download the Catholic Medical POA here.

  • 08 Jul 2014 3:51 PM | Ellen Dorn (Administrator)

    Here is an updated Advance Directive form that reflects current practice in signing and witnessing Texas estate planning documents: Advance Directive for Texas Catholics 

  • 08 Jul 2014 3:46 PM | Ellen Dorn (Administrator)

    In 2014, the legal requirements for proper execution of a Medical Power of Attorney changed.  Here is an updated version of the Catholic Medical Power of Attorney that reflects the statutory changes: Medical Power of Attorney for Texas Catholics  

  • 02 Mar 2011 2:47 PM | Ellen Dorn (Administrator)
    Here is the Directive to Physicians  prepared for Texas Catholics.
  • 22 Feb 2011 2:55 PM | Ellen Dorn (Administrator)
    Here is the form Medical Power of Attorney for Texas Catholics. 

The St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Dallas is open to Catholic attorneys and others interested in the intersection of faith and law.  Its purpose is to encourage Catholic lawyers within the diocese of Dallas to live a Christian vocation by sanctifying their daily work.  The St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Dallas is a Non-Profit Corporation and tax exempt under IRS 501(c)(3).

Copyright 2018. St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Dallas, Texas.  All rights reserved.

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