Introduction: Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking

Narrative Inquiry Bioethics 2016;6(2):75-77

7 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2017

See all articles by Thaddeus Mason Pope

Thaddeus Mason Pope

Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center; Saint Georges University; Alden March Bioethics Institute

Date Written: December 29, 2016


This is the introduction to symposium that I convened and edited for Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, a Johns Hopkins University Press journal.

This symposium includes twelve personal narratives from those who have personally participated in voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED). This issue also includes three commentaries on these narratives by experts in philosophy, palliative care, and hospice medicine. The successes, challenges, and observations described by these narrative and commentary authors will not only inform the academic debate about the legitimacy of VSED but will also inform much needed practical guidance for patients, clinicians, and family members on how they can best implement and support VSED.

Keywords: VSED, voluntarily stopping eating an drinking, right to die, dehydration, end-of-life

JEL Classification: K13, I18

Suggested Citation

Pope, Thaddeus Mason, Introduction: Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (December 29, 2016). Narrative Inquiry Bioethics 2016;6(2):75-77, Available at SSRN:

Thaddeus Mason Pope (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

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651-695-7661 (Phone)


Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000

Saint Georges University ( email )

West Indies


Alden March Bioethics Institute ( email )

47 New Scotland Ave
MC 153
Albany, NY 12208
United States


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