Ask a Death Doula Podcast is a weekly show hosted by Hospice and Oncology nurse Suzanne B. O’Brien. Suzanne is the CEO and founder of International Doulagivers Institute. This is a vital platform for discussions and interviews that will bring back death into the natural fold of life. Ask a Death Doula will share vital education on how to care for those who are dying as well as sharing inspiring stories from working at the bedside with over 1000 dying people from all around the world. Please visit www.doulagivers.com to access our free education and resource center. About International Doulagivers Institute: The goal of Doulagivers Institute is simple and powerful - to provide affordable and accessible education and support to everyone in the world so that every person has the opportunity to die with comfort and dignity in their own home. Death is something that we all have in common no matter our race, religion, or socioeconomic status. We believe that this education to support people to have the most positive end of life experience is a human right, not a privilege.
Wednesday Aug 10, 2022
Wednesday Aug 10, 2022
Wednesday Aug 10, 2022
In This episode of Ask a Death Doula, I will share what V.S.E.D. ( Voluntarily Stop Eating and Drinking ) is, why it's a viable option, and the checklist of things you need to go over before deciding if V.S.E.D. is right for you!
What is V.S.E.D.? [2:00] – V.S.E.D. stands for voluntarily stopping, eating, and drinking, and it is an intentional decision to stop drinking liquids and eating food for the specific purpose of causing death. It does not refer to stopping food or fluids provided by means of a feeding tube or to situations in which a patient has no appetite or is unable to eat or drink due to illness or disease. Time until death depends on a patient's underlying physical condition and disease state, but typically takes place within about 5 to 21 days with the median time of death occurring in 7 to 14 days after implementation - the cause of death is dehydration. The exact process of dying from V.S.E.D. will not be the same for every individual. Despite being intentionally used to cause death, the dying process experienced by V.S.E.D. is a natural one. In the first few days after ceasing intake of food and fluids, individuals may retain their energy levels for physical activity, but soon will become very weak. Once they begin to feel weak movement requires assistance in order to prevent falls or accidents, and weakness or dizziness may occur suddenly - which is why 24-hour support is recommended. Once the individual begins, the fasting causes mental alertness to be replaced by longer and longer periods of sleeping. In many cases, individuals eventually remain in a coma state during the final stages of death. The dehydration from V.S.E.D. affects the kidneys and the heart and each organ system in the body begins to shut down. One of the things that I want you to know about this is that it’s something that's naturally occurring in the end-of-life process already. One of the first tell-tale signs that somebody's headed into the transition phase is that they stop eating and drinking. This is naturally how the body starts to shut down to have its end of life. V.S.E.D. allows the person to have the intentional decision of speeding that up a bit when they have a terminal diagnosis.
Why People Choose V.S.E.D. [5:28] – It is critically important for me to discuss this topic because there is so much debate and discussion about Medical Aid in Dying (M.A.I.D.). The most common reasons that people want to choose medical aid in dying is that they don't want to suffer, and they don't want to be a burden to their family. V.S.E.D. is an alternative option that is not marred with controversy and does not require people to go through a lot of stressful legality issues. You don't have to wait for someone else's permission. You can decide if this is an option that you would like to take, but again, it must be an informed decision and done with the right support. I'm going to give you the checklist to make sure that you fully understand what's involved and if it's right for you. V.S.E.D. is a wonderful option and it gives power back to the person at the end of life. This is about empowering people with the information they need to make their own choices.
The V.S.E.D Checklist - The reason we have this checklist is because it really lays out everything involved and it needs to be a yes, across the whole entire board, before V.S.E.D. is implemented. The Doulagivers V.S.E.D. checklist also has a complete list of supplies and equipment needed to ensure that the patient is comfortable and safe during their V.S.E.D. journey.
This is YOUR Journey. You can choose whatever you want. Just make sure that you make educated, subjective decisions for you.
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