EWTN Catholic Q&A
Re: Giving Communion to a dying patient
Question from LMT on 11-06-2012:

Hi Judie--I just now have read your answer to the Eucharistic Minister who wanted to know what the proper response was to a dying patient who suddenly had a strong desire to receive the Eucharist. This person was a non-Catholic. I feel that this person, who was approaching death, had some sort of encounter with our Lord, and it would have been perfectly acceptable for them to have received our Lord's Body and Blood. What a beautiful thing to have witnessed a deathbed conversion. I doubt that the catechism reference that you cited in your answer was intended to be used for the dying. Clearly this non-Catholic realized, as life was ebbing away, that the Eucharist truly is the Body and Blood of Jesus. I am also a Eucharistic Minister, and I would not have hesitated to give our Lord's Body and Blood to this precious soul, ready to depart this world fully equipped to meet his or her Lord and Savior.

Answer by Judie Brown on 11-12-2012:

Dear LMT

I am grateful for your insightful response. I have been told that there are times when someone requests the Eucharist not because of a deathbed conversion but simply because he or she wants to receive the sacrament or is curious about it. But honestly, this is way beyond my personal area of expertise and I think you perhaps have a better understanding than I.

Thank you for your perspective. God bless you.

Judie Brown