Judith Schwarz, PhD, is the Clinical Director of End of Life Choices New York and a nationally recognized expert on VSED. In her recent post on Medium, “What is a ‘dementia directive’ to stop eating and drinking?” Schwarz explains the use of an advanced directive to prevent handfeeding in later stages of dementia. The article also includes a link to End of Life Choices New York’s AD to SED/Dementia Directive.
As Judy notes, it is important for those who are in danger of losing decisional capacity to have both a dementia directive and a video prepared ahead of time detailing wishes around eating and drinking. Otherwise, hospice and care facilities typically continue feeding patients, even if it results in a low quality of life.