St. Thomas More Society
Diocese of Dallas, TexasThe Catholic Lawyers' Guild

Bishop's End-of-Life Project

In the 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 them in December, 2010.  The Bishop intends to publish these documents to the Diocese in the near future, accompanied by a pastoral letter that instructs on the moral principles of Catholic teaching that inform these documents. 

These forms are available to all attorneys who represent Catholic residents of Texas, to enable attorneys to help their clients receive end-of-life care in accordance with the Catholic Faith.


Please download these forms for use by your Catholic clients. We welcome your comments on the forms.
  • 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.

Copyright 2011. St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Dallas, Texas.  All rights reserved.

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