EWTN Catholic Q&A
when death is imminent
Question from troubled on 08-12-2018:

Something has been troubling me. I was with a family member the day they passed. Death was imminent. When awake the person was able to hear but not move or speak. We know the person could hear because when told to blink eyes in response they did. The day they passed the person was sleeping and breathing became labored. The nurse came in and gave morphine. She said for comfort. Immediately after being given the morphine the person died. I now wonder if the dose of morphine hastened their death and if this was appropriate treatment. Any thoughts?

Answer by Judie Brown on 08-13-2018:

Dear Troubled,

Not having been there we can only say that based on what you are saying, the nurse clearly thought the labored breathing was painful to the dying person, because that sort of breathing is painful. So what she did was not inappropriate.

Judie



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