Overview of voluntarily stopping eating and drinking to hasten death

Lowers, Jane and Hughes, Sean and Preston, Nancy (2020) Overview of voluntarily stopping eating and drinking to hasten death. Annals of Palliative Medicine. ISSN 2224-5820

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Abstract

Voluntarily stopping eating and drinking is a means of hastening death. Unlike euthanasia or medical aid in dying, which are available only in certain jurisdictions and with assistance from health care professionals, the ability to die by voluntarily stopping eating and drinking is determined by ongoing patient choice, although clinical and caregiver support is recommended. Few studies have examined the incidence of patients choosing to stop eating and drinking; studies in the Netherlands and United States suggest patients choosing this route have concerns about both physical and existential suffering. This article presents an overview of voluntarily stopping eating and drinking, including guidance for clinicians, legal permissibility, and ethical discussions about whether the act constitutes suicide and how clinicians might respond to requests for information or support. Keywords: Dehydration; euthanasia; hospice care; intention; palliative care.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Annals of Palliative Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700
Subjects:
ID Code:
146594
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Aug 2020 09:50
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
24 Nov 2020 08:50