Can you receive Eucharist through feeding tube?


#1

My brother cannot swallow, even liquids. He gets all nourishment through feeding tube or IV. How can he receive the Eucharist?


#2

[quote="upbeatjonm, post:1, topic:303534"]
My brother cannot swallow, even liquids. He gets all nourishment through feeding tube or IV. How can he receive the Eucharist?

[/quote]


Interesting question. Maybe someone else has a better take on this -- but is seems to me -- that the Eucharist would need to be liquified with another substance -- and the end result may be that the Eucharist would no longer be present. Just a tiny drop of the Precious Blood in the mouth-- would be sufficient -- but this may not be feasible -- since you say-- your brother cannot swallow.


#3

Alas, no. The miracle of transubstantiation only occurs when the hosts maintain the appearances of bread and wine. Dissolved or diluted in any liquid, the hosts cease to appear as bread and wine, and the miracle ceases. All the dissolved and diluted particles are not little parts of God, they are just physical matter again.

Have you asked your priest to confer to him the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick?


#4

Could he not receive a drop of the Precious Blood in his tube? Is this against the CCC?


#5

He cannot recieve the host either through a feeding tube or by IV, for the reasons specified here above. However, he may be able to recieve the precious blood through a feeding tube (not IV) if his doctor OKs it and says the the accidents of wine will not be harmful to him.


#6

[quote="upbeatjonm, post:1, topic:303534"]
My brother cannot swallow, even liquids. He gets all nourishment through feeding tube or IV. How can he receive the Eucharist?

[/quote]

Talk to your brother's priest about this right away. He will know how to proceed.

I've never heard of the Eucharist being administered through a feeding tube. It would surprise me if that was okay to do seeing as how the feeding tube is not consecrated to be a Eucharistic vessel and there wouldn't be a way for the priest to purify it afterwards. But I have heard of priests putting trace amounts of the Eucharisitc species on the tongue, even of those who cannot swallow. Jesus is fully present in every particle of the Eucharistic species, so it doesn't take much.

Your brother and your family are in my prayers.


#7

Just because a person has a feeding tube does not mean they can't have a drop or two of the Precious Blood under their tongue or in their mouth. The answer to the OP's question is: no, one can't receive the Eucharist through a feeding tube, but the Blood can be given in the mouth or under the tongue in an amount the patient can tolerate, even if it's a drop.


#8

[quote="Joe_5859, post:6, topic:303534"]
Talk to your brother's priest about this right away. He will know how to proceed.

I've never heard of the Eucharist being administered through a feeding tube. It would surprise me if that was okay to do seeing as how the feeding tube is not consecrated to be a Eucharistic vessel and there wouldn't be a way for the priest to purify it afterwards. But I have heard of priests putting trace amounts of the Eucharisitc species on the tongue, even of those who cannot swallow. Jesus is fully present in every particle of the Eucharistic species, so it doesn't take much.

Your brother and your family are in my prayers.

[/quote]

Feeding tubes are flushed with water after meds/feeding solutions are administered through them. That's not the problem. The problem is that when it's dissolved in any way (which is must be, because solids can't be administered through the tube), it's no longer the Eucharist.


#9

[quote="Rence, post:8, topic:303534"]
Feeding tubes are flushed with water after meds/feeding solutions are administered through them. That's not the problem. The problem is that when it's dissolved in any way (which is must be, because solids can't be administered through the tube), it's no longer the Eucharist.

[/quote]

That's not what I meant by "purify". The Church has regulations about the types of containers to be used for carrying the Eucharist and how those vessels are to be purified.

A vessel would have to be a non-porous and made of worthy materials that would never again be used for mundane purposes and would be cleaned in a sacrarium. A feeding tube wouldn't fit that description.

But, yeah, even if that were not the case, they couldn't "liquify" the Eucharist under the form of bread. The simplest solution I can see is, as you said, a drop of the Precious Blood under the tongue.

Again, I would encourage the OP to talk to a priest. Unless he's newly ordained, I am sure he would have dealt with this at some point. He'll know what to do.


#10

Never ever heard of this sanctioned at all.

My late beloved father was a completely paralyzed quadriplegic both fully ventilated and on a feeding tube for eleven years in my family home but was able to swallow very small amounts of water by straw. Being an EMHC for sick parishioners only I would bring him home a small quarter particle of the Holy Eucharist that was placed on his tongue and had to be consumed with water.


#11

As has been stated often a drop of the blood is placed inside the lip. If his mouth is moist, a crumb of the host can be placed between lip and teeth and allowed to dissolve.

I've never heard of a feeding tube method (or flush syringe being used).


#12

As I remember, Fr. Frank Pavone administered the Viaticum, in the form of the precious Blood, to Terri Schiavo via a medicine dropper on her tongue. Substances in small amounts in the mouth are absorbed without swallowing, much the same as nitroglycerin pills which heart patients place beneath their tongue for absorption.


#13

Thanks to all for the great replies. I will discuss with a priest. The drop of blood on the tongue seems to be the best way, in my opinion.

Keep him in your prayers.


#14

[quote="Joe_5859, post:9, topic:303534"]
That's not what I meant by "purify". The Church has regulations about the types of containers to be used for carrying the Eucharist and how those vessels are to be purified.

A vessel would have to be a non-porous and made of worthy materials that would never again be used for mundane purposes and would be cleaned in a sacrarium. A feeding tube wouldn't fit that description.

[/quote]

I see what you're saying, and I agree that the vessel must be appropriate. But I don't think I agree that the feeding tube itself is a vessel. It's a mode of transmission of nutrients, an artificial mouth/throat/esophagus. If they can use a dropper, and I know they do, then they can use something else that serves the same purpose. That said, unless someone like a priest or bishop says otherwise, I think that pushing the Precious Blood in a feeding tube would be allowed in certain conditions as long the tube was flushed properly. BUT, if the patient has a mouth and a throat, there is no reason to use a feeding tube for Communion in a patient that can't have anything by mouth that I have come across, so to me, the only issue is curiousity. So it would be nice to have an official answer.

Not that I have a plethora of experiences that fall under the beginning and the end of all, but I have never heard of a condition in which a patient could not tolerate a drop of anything in their mouth or throat, let alone the Precious Blood. After all, we still have to deliver mouth care on this hypothetical patient, and he/she still has saliva. Medications are administered in small amounts under the tongue on such patients all the time. Therefore a crumb of a Host, or a drop of the Blood, is very manageable.

Perhaps if the mouth has been destroyed by injury or disease and simply is not there at all, but there is still an entry into the person somehow. I'm thinking that such a unique circumstance would take some brainstorming of the Bishop because I'm sure he would want to somehow provide the Precious Body and Blood of Christ somehow. But we don't have to worry about such rare conditions normally.

[quote="Joe_5859, post:9, topic:303534"]

Again, I would encourage the OP to talk to a priest. Unless he's newly ordained, I am sure he would have dealt with this at some point. He'll know what to do.

[/quote]

This is an easy problem to resolve for the OP :)


#15

I have taken care of literally hundreds of patients with feeding tubes and on a ventilator, and every single one of them was able to receive oral care with a moistened sponge. I cannot see why a drop of the Precious Blood could not be placed in their mouth under the tongue or in the space between the teeth and the gums.


#16

I have also seen that. I’ve heard of placing a single drop of precious blood on the tongue.


#17

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