Posted on October 26, 2020 at 3:48 PM
This month, Scott Halpern shares a compelling story of his grandpa in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Notably, Halpern notes that hastening one’s death through stopping eating and drinking (VSED) “is largely impossible without knowledgeable family members and dedicated hospice care.” He observes: “Hospice experts around the country had warned me that less than 20% of people who try to do so ‘succeed,’ with most reversing course because of vicious thirst. This is all amply illustrated by Halpern’s grandfather’s own challenges.
But the difficulty of VSED should not be overstated. There are dozens of published cases where the patient and her caregivers report a peaceful and comfortable death. I edited some of them here. And in a new forthcoming book, Tim Quill, Paul Menzel, Judy Schwarz, and I offer none new original VSED cases and citations to fifty more.