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Posted on August 4, 2018 at 5:00 AM

Carla Calogero has an important article in the spring 2018 Newsletter of the Washington State Bar Association Real Property Probate & Trust section: Voluntary Stopping Eating and  Drinking: A Way to Hasten Death  as an End-of-Life Option.”

Cologero explains why estate planning practitioners should familiarize themselves with VSED and consider how to address this end-of-life option in their practice.

She concludes: “VSED is currently one option available to those who want to avoid a prolonged dying process which may involve increasing or extended pain, disability, dependence, or loss of dignity. Ideally, VSED requires support from care providers and medical oversight. The legality of VSED has not been codified, though proponents rely on established law regarding personal autonomy and bodily integrity. For now, practitioners should increase their understanding of this end of life option that is gaining public awareness.”

“In addition, practitioners should have advance directive provisions for stopping eating and drinking in their toolkit. If VSED gains momentum, which it is apt to do with the aging baby boomer generation and the increasing prevalence of Alzheimer’s, either the people or their legislature may act to codify the right to choose this end-of-life option, and to give protections to providers and loved ones who afford dignity and comfort in the dying process.”

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