Working to increase awareness of Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED)
BECAUSE COMPASSIONATE DEATH IS A HUMAN RIGHT
COVID-19 UPDATE: During the pandemic, our consultations will be available via phone, email, or Zoom.
Who We Are
We are a group of activists in Western Washington who seek to increase community awareness of Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED, pronounced vee-sed) as an end-of-life choice, and to further its availability and access. We educate our community about choices at the end of life, advocate for VSED, and make referrals to caregivers, death doulas, and physicians who are experienced with VSED here in the Pacific Northwest.
We created this website to more easily share VSED resources with those interested in exploring this longstanding end-of-life choice. Visit our Who We Are page to learn more about how we came to this important, life-affirming work.
If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with us to learn more about your VSED options, please visit our Contact Us page and get in touch.
Diversity and Inclusion Statement
At VSED Resources Northwest, we are painfully aware of the disparity in medical care and access to end-of-life care for Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, people living with disabilities, those living with mental health issues, people living in poverty, and other underrepresented groups. We are open to talk with and provide care to anyone in need. We believe we must take action daily to create a more just and equal society. Birth and death are universals, as is the need for compassionate care when negotiating both thresholds.
What We Do
…about end-of-life choices, particularly VSED, through individual conversations, family circles, group presentations, and webinars.
…how to talk to healthcare providers, family members, and friends about end-of-life choices.
…individuals with local Hospice Care, death doulas, supportive physicians, and caregivers who are experienced in helping people use VSED.
…by providing useful documents about VSED to share with doctors and family members, as well as a “lending library” of equipment and supplies for VSED.
We Provide Care
…by offering a VSED grief support group for family members of those who choose VSED.
…with local and national groups to increase awareness of VSED.
“VSED might not be the right choice for everyone, but it is the right choice for me.” - Jane V.
In October 2016, Jane and her husband Dick attended a seminar on VSED sponsored by the Palliative Care Institute. After listening to Phyllis Shacter describe her husband Alan’s decision to die with dignity by VSED, Jane decided that she would utilize VSED when the time was right. In February 2020, with her dementia steadily advancing, Jane and Dick decided that time had come.
“We talked about his readiness to die. He was clear that he didn’t want further treatment.” - Dwight, Craig's son
Years before, Craig had written that he would be done when he was “confined,” no longer able to move on his own, no longer interested in reading 3 newspapers a day, no longer delighted by food, and not really interested in his usual martini. However, his family still had to fight for his right to die with dignity in spite of his steadfast directive.