When does one stop blood transfusions?


I’m afraid my question re end of life and blood transfusions got a bit muddled. I already know the Church’s stand on blood transfusions - that was not my question. The question I’m asking is how much is too much? When would it be considered a mortal sin to just let someone bleed out - it sounds horrible. How can I live with myself afterwards? If continued blood transfusions are the only thing keeping the person alive, what do I do? Particularly with a 99-year-old patient…It took hours to find a vein for my Mom this week. When is it too much and when is it not enough? Where’s that fine line between mortal sin and “letting” someone die - it seems not taking action would be sinful?
Thanks, and God bless you for your time.



Your question is more of a medical one than a religious or moral one. I checked with a priest in my local community who is also an MD and he asked if she is hemorrhaging. People ordinarily don’t just lose blood. If she is hemorrhaging, what is its cause? How much blood she gets is a medical question and your doctor should be determining this from the nature of her illness.

Sorry that I can’t help more. This is why we’ve not answered earlier. This doesn’t seem to be the moral question one has with nutrition and hydration.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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