Legal Aspects to Consider in Voluntary Refusal to Eat, Drink

Share this content:
Legal Aspects to Consider in Voluntary Refusal to Eat, Drink
Legal Aspects to Consider in Voluntary Refusal to Eat, Drink

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED) is a course that patients may choose to hasten their death, although there are clinical, ethical, and legal aspects to consider, according to a special communication published online Nov. 6 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Timothy E. Quill, M.D., from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and colleagues discussed VSED as a course that patients may choose among death-hastening options.

The researchers note that VSED has a distinct time frame allowing patients and families to say goodbye and work on issues relating to life closure. The initial states of VSED are mainly under the patient's control, and most of the process is driven and executed by the patient. However, disadvantages include the fact that the process is too long to effectively respond to those with severe immediate physical suffering. Clinician participation is needed in terms of initial assessment and ongoing management, including ensuring that patients have decision-making capacity, that the decision is not influenced by mental illness, that the patient is fully informed of the risks and alternatives, and that the choice is voluntary. Patients should be aware of other alternatives and should understand that VSED may be difficult.

"Although patient, family, and clinician participation in VSED is probably not illegal in the United States, its legality has not been tested, and it remains ethically controversial," the authors write.

One author disclosed receiving fees for lectures about end-of-life options including VSED and receiving royalties from books written on this topic.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »


Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

More in Home

CDC Issues Warning on Contaminated Raw Milk

CDC Issues Warning on Contaminated Raw Milk

Case of New Jersey woman becoming ill after drinking raw milk from Udder Milk company

Cerebral Morphometric Changes Discriminate ADHD, Controls

Cerebral Morphometric Changes Discriminate ADHD, Controls

Alterations discern ADHD-I, ADHD-C, with discriminating features located in DMN, insular cortex

Baby Boomers Have Increased Risk of Rx Opioid Overdose Death

Baby Boomers Have Increased Risk of Rx Opioid ...

In addition, those born from 1947 to 1964 and 1979 to 1992 have increased risk of heroin overdose death

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »