There was a better time when a medical professional facilitating suicide by starvation would have brought professional discipline.
No more. Now, it–voluntary stop eating and drinking (VSED)–is the subject of continuing education credits for medical professionals. From the curriculum announcement of Seattle University School of Law:
Hastening Death by Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking: Clinical, Legal, Ethical, Religious, and Family Perspectives
OCTOBER 14-15, 2016 | 11.75 CLE CREDITS, PENDING; NURSING, SOCIAL WORK CREDITS APPLIED FOR Voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED) is one way to assuredly hasten death. Although generally regarded as legal, VSED has not gained nearly as much public or scholarly attention as aid-in-dying, though the latter is legal in only five states.
This interdisciplinary conference will address ethical, legal, clinical, religious, personal, family, and institutional issues that arise with VSED, including contexts of hospice and dementia care.
We truly have entered the age of “do harm” medicine.