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Posted on March 30, 2018 at 4:30 AM

Except in the Benelux countries, medical aid in dying is available only to patients with capacity. Therefore, MAID is not an exit option for those who want to avoid living in a state of advanced dementia. By the time their lives are in a state they find intolerable, they no longer have capacity.

On the other hand, while MAID is not an exit option for dementia, VSED may be. Consequently, some academics and advocates have been working on analysis and tools to clarify this exit option. The most recent example is from End of Life Choices New York: the “Advanced Directive for Receiving Oral Foods and Fluids in Dementia.” 

In collaboration with attorneys, palliative care clinicians and others, End of Life Choices New York has developed an advance directive specifically designed for those with an early stage of Alzheimer’s or another dementing disease, or for those with a significant family history of dementia and fears of developing such a disease in the near future.

NPR and Kaiser Health News nicely covered the new advanced directive yesterday.

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