Bioethics Blogs

Jean Davies – Successful VSED

Octogenarian Jean Davies, who is also a right-to-die campaigner, successfully used VSED to hasten her death.  

She stopped drinking water on 16 September and passed away on 1 October.  (Sunday TimesIndependentGuardian).

The former maths teacher, 86, did not have a terminal illness, but suffered a range of conditions that made her life uncomfortable including chronic back pain and fainting episodes.  

Davies received care throughout her fast from her GP, who agreed to treat her to alleviate the symptoms of starvation and dehydration after consulting his defence union.  The defence union said that if someone has capacity then it is their choice.

Unfortunately, much of the media attention paints VSED as an unfortunate and tragic choice, necessitated by the illegality of aid in dying.  

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.