During the past 30 years, moral progress has been made in expanding the patient’s right to control life-and-death decisions.
Voluntary stopping of eating and drinking (VSED) is a legal and ethical option for patients whose underlying illness has become an intolerable affront to their personhood.
To support the autonomy of patients, nurses need to understand the clinical management of VSED so they can educate patients and families of this option.
To learn more, see Lachman (2015). Voluntary stopping of eating and drinking: An ethical alternative to physician-assisted suicide. MEDSURG Nursing, 24(1), 56-59.