Diagnosed with Dementia, She Documented Her Wishes. They Said No.

January 22, 2020

(Kaiser Health News) – One key question is whether patients with dementia ? or those who fear the disease ? can say in advance that they want oral food and fluids stopped at a certain point, a move that would hasten death through dehydration. It’s a controversial form of what’s known as VSED ? voluntarily stopping eating and drinking ? a practice among some terminally ill patients who want to end their lives. In those cases, people who still have mental capacity can refuse food and water, resulting in death within about two weeks. Many states prohibit the withdrawal of assisted feeding, calling it basic “comfort care” that must be offered.