Bioethics Blogs

VSED : Bridge to MAID

Voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED) is often framed as an alternative to medical aid in dying (MAID).  

VSED is an important alternative, since MAID is legal in only five U.S. states.  It is also important, because even within those five states, many patients prefer to hasten their death through VSED rather than through MAID.

What has not been studied is using VSED as a means to qualify for MAID.  That appears to be what Quebec resident Jean Brault did.  After refusing water for eight days, his doctors concluded that he met the criteria under Quebec’s assisted-dying law. 

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.