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End of life pastoral resource

This page offers pastoral resources for those in ministry attending to individuals and their families at the end of someone’s life. “End of life” is a phrase chosen to encompass all forms of death that would not be referred to as natural causes; such as, voluntary assisted dying, suicide, terminal illness, accident.

The initiative for these resources came from the Victorian Government’s decision to legislate for VAD. These resources are for the Church’s ministry in a pastoral context, where VAD has been chosen following the appropriate legislated processes. They are not to suggest an agreement, or otherwise, with the legislation. They simply position the pastoral carer/minister as a non-judgemental pastoral presence offering ministry to those affected.

The pastoral carer/minister should BY LAW NOT BE INVOLVED in the influencing, discernment or decision-making of an individual in these matters.

Further resources (with links) are welcome. Please send through suggestions to [email protected]

  • For the dying. This offers a specific approach to prayer for those dying in a hospice.
  • Comfort. Offered by John Birch for those difficult times when we struggle.
  • Under stress. Offered by John Birch, among many other prayers, these are for a variety of contexts and circumstances.
  • Dying or ageing with grace. Resources on illness, death and dying, loss, grief, and positive ageing collated by Pat McNees.
  • Faith and belief. These resources are shared by Spiritual Health Australia, including Chrisitian prayer and multi-faith reflections on grief, death and dying.
  • VAD patient. Written by pastoral care staff at the Epworth Hospital.
  • Prayers & liturgy.
  • Visitors. This is a prayer book to resource pastoral care visitors collated by the National Health Service of East Suffolk and North Essex.
  • Encouragement. Provided by the United Church of Canada, this offers encouragement to those in great pain and those ready to die, and their companions.