Bioethics Blogs

Call for Stories: Patient, Family, and Clinician Experiences with Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED)

Call for Stories
Patient, Family, and Clinician Experiences with Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED)

Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics will publish a collection of personal stories from individuals who have participated in VSED (voluntarily stopping eating and drinking) to hasten death.  VSED is sometimes referred to as VRFF (voluntary refusal of food and fluid) or terminal dehydration.  We are interested in the experiences of, among others: (a) individuals who have serious considered VSED as an option; (b) individuals who witnessed or were engaged with a family member’s VSED; and (c) clinicians who were involved with a patient’s deliberations about, or experience with, VSED.


We would like to hear about both positive and negative experiences with VSED.  The stories should give readers a sense of what it is like to undergo, support, or encounter VSED.  We want true, personal stories in a form that is interesting and easy to read.  Please share this invitation and guide sheet with appropriate individuals.


In writing your story, please consider these questions:
  • What do you want to tell us about your experience with VSED? Please share a particular story describing what happened, how you felt, and how you reacted.
  • What about your experience was positive?  What was negative?  Was anything surprising?
  • What could have been done differently to improve your experience?
  • What would you want to tell people who are considering or are offered VSED?
You do not need to address each of these questions—write on the issues that you think are most important to share with others.

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.