EWTN Catholic Q&A
The giving of Holy Communion to a patient on terminal status
Question from Martin E Caballero on 10-06-2012:

While dispensing Holy Communion as an Extraordinary Minister at a hospital, a patient on death bed status, suddenly desired to receive Holy Communion. The patient was a non-catholic who suddenly seemed to show earnest and belief in the reality of Holy Communion as being the Body of Christ. The question is: Can a lay catholic Minister of Holy Communion dispense to this non-Catholic Holy Communion? Is there some source of Catholic practice that covers this extraordinary event? While taking the course to become a Minister of Holy Communion, the question of being able to administer to a dying non-Catholic patient never was never discussed.

Answer by Judie Brown on 10-10-2012:

Dear Martin,

Please see the following, which is taken from the "Catholic Catechism":

1415 Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.

I hope this helps.

Judie Brown