Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED)

When a person is experiencing prolonged, relentless suffering with no hope of improvement, every day can feel like a struggle—even torture. Whether due to the frailty of advanced age, progression of a life-limiting chronic illness, debilitation from a neurologic condition, or any number of debilitating health conditions, some people arrive at the point where their quality of life is no longer acceptable. These are not necessarily people who want to die; they are people who may prefer to live, but have lived long lives and are now suffering more than they can bear.

For the right individual, under the right circumstances and with the right support, Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED) is a legal, peaceful, and dignified path for a person’s life to come to an end. VSED is a natural dying process—one of the ways people have died since the beginning of mankind.

At Empowered Endings, we are comfortable discussing VSED as a viable End of Life Option. It is not an appropriate option for everyone, and we don’t promote VSED or encourage people to utilize this option. However, we feel obligated to educate people about it, share the truth about it, and assist qualified patients and families in navigating the path of it.

Although VSED is a natural process and can be gentle, we strongly recommend that a person only go through the process under the guidance and oversight of a knowledgeable, engaged medical team. If you are interested in exploring VSED, Empowered Endings is here to support you with our experience, expertise, and compassionate guidance.

Personalized Care to Meet Your Needs for VSED Care


Assessment and Recommendations:

Expert physician consultation, including an in-person visit, review of records;  assessment of your needs, resources, goals and wishes; guidance and support for your family members; evaluation for qualification for support through VSED; and recommendations regarding treatment and care options.


Ongoing Care and Support:

Everything included in the Assessment and Recommendations plus:

Ongoing oversight and coordination of care, including 24/7 availability, in-home visits, communication with collaborating providers, and referrals to supportive resources, such as holistic and integrative therapies, nursing support, and more;

Routine and urgent physician visits with your personal doctor, available 24/7 by phone, text or email;

Routine and urgent nursing visits as needed to explore and address any changing needs, ensuring patient comfort as well as family support and education throughout the journey;

Wrap-around mental, emotional, spiritual, and social support for patients and their loved ones, including access to counselors and doulas who are accessible 24/7 to provide intimate guidance aligned with the patients’ and families’ goals, wishes, and values.

Access to ongoing individual or group Grief and Bereavement support and referrals for additional needs, such as final arrangements and estate management.

*Routine physician, nursing and counselor, and doula visits are scheduled and priced on the basis of each patient and family’s level of need.

Contact Us to Learn More About Compassionate Care With Empowered Endings:

Please use this form for general information only—don’t share any personal health information. We can make a personal appointment to discuss private patient information.

Options for an Empowered End of Life Experience

It’s important for you to know that not only are there options, but there are healthcare professionals and holistic practitioners who are willing and able to explore the options with you and your loved ones, prior to and during the last phases of your journey. At Empowered Endings, we believe that everyone should understand their care options, so each person is empowered to make the best decisions about their final days, weeks, or months of life. Whichever path one chooses to take, being at home with proper support is often the best, and preferred, option when feasible.

Bob and Elizabeth are just very gentle souls. There was no pressure and shared with my wife Rachel and I the many options you have to consider. It felt just like someone putting their arms around you.

[Dr. Bill Parker]

For us as a family, Bob and Elizabeth gave us the tranquility and support that we needed at that moment. It made a total difference in the way my Dad passed away. It allowed me to be the daughter and not a nurse.

[Eva Goldstein]