Terminally Ill Couple Choose to VSED Together

Mr. Rudolph, 92, suffered severe pain from spinal stenosis and had a permanent catheter. Mrs. Rudolph, 90, was immobile. Both suffered from the onset of dementia, and they consulted with Compassion & Choices about V.S.E.D.

When Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph said they wanted to VSED in the facility they were living in, the facility said they would not allow this. Most likely, the facility was concerned about legal repercussions. The couple, even though they were outraged that they had to leave the facility, moved to a home. They both died peacefully one day apart and were surrounded by loved ones and family. My husband chose to VSED for the same reasons. He died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones as well.

I’m doing this because I have a disease that will rob me of the ability to make this choice. Since I don’t know about this (i.e. VSED), probably not a lot of people do. And it sounded horrible. Now that I’ve investigated it, it doesn’t sound horrible and I’m going to do it. – Alan

Voluntarily stopping eating and drinking has become an end of life option for terminally ill patients whose quality of life is dwindling. A version of this has been practiced for decades. People have refused to take medication or to elect not to undergo invasive surgeries. By not eating and drinking patients are choosing not to live into the late stages of disease. Interestingly enough, it is not lack of food that causes a coma before death.  It is not possible to survive when dehydrated. To undergo this process skilled caregivers and support are necessary. My resources page is a great tool if you are looking for more information or resources for VSED and other end of life options.

VSED is a legal option. We all have a right to a good quality of life and a good quality of death. 

Choosing Not To Eat And Drink: Some Terminally Ill Hasten Death