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A Conversation About Voluntarily Stopping Eating & Drinking

September 30, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

$25 – $35
Join us for the 6th Annual Barbara Swartz Lecture.
This year, we will hear from a panel of experts on voluntarily stopping eating & drinking.



Each year, the Annual Barbara Swartz End of Life Choices Lecture provides a unique opportunity to hear from experts and leaders on end-of-life topics. Proceeds from the lecture support End of Life Choices New York.

This year, we are thrilled to be joined by the editors of the forthcoming book Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking: A Compassionate, Widely-Available Option for Hastening Death. These panelists will discuss Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED) and why some decisionally-capable persons chose to hasten their dying with this legal end of life option. They will also explore the benefits and challenges of completing an advance directives to stop eating and drinking (AD to SED) as a means to shorten the dying process for those with advanced dementia. The panelists bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, and will discuss the topic from the multi-disciplinary perspectives of medicine, ethics, law, and nursing. The knowledge they share will be of value to anyone seeking to learn more about VSED.


Timothy E. Quill, MD, is a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Medical Humanities and Nursing at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, where he was the founding director of their Palliative Care Division. He was a board member and a past president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He was the lead physician plaintiff in a U.S. Supreme Court Case Quill v Vacco testing the legal permissibility of physician-assisted death. Quill is a practicing palliative care physician, an author/editor of seven previous books, multiple peer-reviewed articles in major medical journals, and a regular lecturer and commentator on medical decision making, physician patient relationships, palliative care, and end of life issues.

Paul T. Menzel, PhD, is Professor of Philosophy emeritus, Pacific Lutheran University. He has published widely on moral questions in health economics and health policy, including Strong Medicine: The Ethical Rationing of Health Care, and (as co-editor) Prevention vs. Treatment: What’s the Right Balance? Most recently, he has written on end-of-life issues, including advance directives for dementia and voluntarily stopping eating and drinking. He has been a visiting scholar at Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Rockefeller Center-Bellagio, Brocher Foundation, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Monash University.

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD, is Director of the Health Law Institute and Professor of Law at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has over 200 publications in leading medical journals, law reviews, bar journals, nursing journals, bioethics journals, and book chapters. He coauthors the 1500-page The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decision Making and runs the popular Medical Futility Blog. Pope has co-authored clinical practice guidelines for medical aid in dying and major policy statements on critical care ethics for professional medical societies. Apart from his scholarship, Pope has served as a legal consultant and expert witness in court cases involving end-of-life treatment.

Judith K. Schwarz, PhD, RN, is the Clinical Director of End of Life Choices New York and was the East Coast Clinical Coordinator for Compassion & Choices. She has counseled many hundreds of patients suffering from incurable and progressive or terminal illnesses and families about end of life options. She publishes regularly in nursing and palliative care journals. For years her work has focused on voluntarily stopping eating and drinking as an option to achieve a peaceful, patient-controlled death. More recently she began responding to requests for assistance from patients diagnosed with an early stage of dementia. With colleagues in other disciplines she developed the End of Life Choices New York “Dementia Directive” that has been completed by hundreds of individuals.

Disclaimer: The event will take place over Zoom. The Zoom link will be sent to all registrants the morning of the event. If you do not receive this email, please check your spam folder. End of Life Choices New York  does not own or control the Zoom platform, and is unable to offer technical support. By purchasing a ticket, you agree that any issues arising through the use of Zoom’s technology are not the responsibility of End of Life Choices New York, but if necessary can be taken up by you directly with Zoom itself.