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Posted on May 10, 2018 at 4:30 AM

Stanford Medicine has posted four good podcasts on voluntary stopping of eating and drinking. 

VSED is a deliberate, self-initiated attempt by some terminally ill patients to hasten death. Some patients explore this option in the setting of intractable suffering refractory to optimal palliative interventions or prolonged dying that a the patient finds intolerable.Data show that individuals who consider VSED tend to be older, have a serious but not always imminently terminal illness, place a high value on independence, and have significant illness burden.

In the first podcast (about 40 minutes), Dr. Periyakoil, Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and  Prof. Timothy Quill from University of Rochester (and senior author of the article) have a conversation about the practical clinical aspects of VSED.

In three shorter podcasts, experts from the domains of psychology, chaplaincy and medicine share real-life experiences. 
1. Dr. Hiroto describes how she supported a veteran who had self esteem issues and how she was able to help him when he raised the issue of hastening death through VSED. 
2. Chaplain Klein provides a broad overview of how to provide spiritual support to patients considering VSED, their family members and the providers caring for them. 
3. Dr. Sandy Trieu describes her work with a Asian American patient with pancreatic cancer who asked about VSED when he could not go to church anymore.

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