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Comment & Response
May 2018

Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking Among Patients With Serious Advanced Illness—A Label in Search of a Problem?—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Palliative Care Division, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York
  • 2Health Services Research & Development Center of Innovation, VA Portland Health Care System, Portland, Maine
  • 3Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Maine
  • 4Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School, Department of Anesthesia, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 5Health Law Institute, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St Paul, Minnesota
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(5):726-727. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.1147

In Reply We appreciate the well-considered comments made by Dr Mueller and colleagues on our recent Special Communication.1 While we agree that stopping eating and drinking is often a gradual and normal part of the dying process, doing so voluntarily is often substantially different both ethically and practically, especially because it requires compensating for and adjusting to a strong physiological desire to keep drinking.

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