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 »

Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease



Sign up for myCME e-newsletters




More in Home

FDA Approves First Generic Under-the-Tongue Suboxone

FDA Approves First Generic Under-the-Tongue Suboxone

May only be prescribed by Drug Addiction Treatment Act-certified prescribers

Kellogg's Honey Smacks Cereal Recalled Due to Salmonella Risk

Kellogg's Honey Smacks Cereal Recalled Due to <i>Salmonella</i> ...

Twenty-four people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported

Portable Music Player Use Linked to Hearing Loss in Children

Portable Music Player Use Linked to Hearing Loss ...

Increased odds of high-frequency hearing loss with portable music player use

is free, fast, and customized just for you!




Already a member?

Sign In Now »