Advance Directive for Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking (VSED Directive)

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project & National VSED Advance Directive Committee

Use this self-help form to fill out a VSED Directive. It expresses your end-of-life wishes if dementia or other progressive illnesses cause you to lose the ability to make your own health care decisions. This VSED Directive can be used anywhere in the United States. #9615EN

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 Fill out a VSED Directive
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You can also fill out a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, if you need one. It’s simple: we ask you questions and use your answers to complete your forms. The link takes you to a separate website. Or you can download instructions and blank forms below.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

VSED stands for Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking. It means you voluntarily refuse to eat food or drink liquids, with the understanding that it will accelerate the process of dying and reduce suffering. People with a serious, irreversible, intolerable condition, for instance, might choose VSED.

A VSED Directive is a document that expresses your end-of-life wishes about receiving food or drink from care providers.

Some progressive illnesses, like dementia, make you lose your ability to make decisions about your health care, including choosing medical aid in dying. VSED does not require a specific diagnosis or physician order, so it might be the only option for some people wishing to accelerate the process of dying.

Your VSED Directive does not replace your other advance directives, such as health care or mental health advance directives. It also does not replace other documents (like a POLST or MOLST form) that decline emergency medical treatment.

Yes. A VSED Directive is a legal document. However, like other advance directives, there may be situations where it will not be followed. Most medical providers will try to follow your advance directive, but they are not legally required to do so. The best way to make sure your wishes will be honored is to talk with your medical team, your care facility, your caregivers, and your family members about your VSED Directive.

Last Review and Update: Apr 22, 2024
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