Hi all. I’m back with another new book. I’ve actually been in a good writing rhythm the past few months, despite falling while trail running and breaking my wrist at the end of February. Here’s a PSA (public service announcement) that you probably don’t need: Maybe don’t trail run down a rocky mountain trail after a fresh snowfall… It was beautiful–up until the moment I slipped and fell onto my dominant hand. Doh!
Fortunately, my children taught me to use the Dictate function on Word, and here I am: a new book (The VSED Handbook) out and another nearly done (Ends of the Earth, book three of the Galaxy Girl trilogy). If you subscribed to my Patreon (hint, hint), you could read the first chapter of Ends of the Earth right now. Just saying. 😉
Anyway, the organization I work with, VSED Resources Northwest, has a blog post about the new book. Rather than recreate the wheel, I thought I would re-blog it here. Let me know if you have any questions about VSED or the book. I’m happy to pass along any information or help that I can.
Happy spring, and happy reading.
NEW BOOK RELEASE: THE VSED HANDBOOK BY KATE CHRISTIE
Novelist Kate Christie, whose mother Jane used VSED in early 2020 to escape the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, has released a new book, The VSED Handbook: A Practical Guide to Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking. A combination instructional manual/personal memoir, The VSED Handbook provides detailed instructions for planning and carrying out VSED while offering glimpses into one family’s experiences with the process. Nancy Simmers, co-founder and current Coordinator of VSED Resources Northwest, wrote the foreword for the book, which she describes as “a worthy guidebook for contemplating your own end-of-life choices.”
Christie’s impulse for writing the book was, as she notes in the introduction, “to provide an actionable model for how to go about planning for and carrying out VSED, with the aim of achieving the type of peaceful passing my mother did.” In just under 85 pages, Christie provides a step-by-step guide to preparing for VSED, an overview of what the process itself entails, and information about the legality of hastening one’s own death. She supplements the process-oriented sections of the book with relevant examples from her family’s experience, highlighting tips that she would have found useful while helping her mother Jane prepare for and carry out VSED. In addition, the book’s appendixes offer a VSED timeline, a sample VSED statement, a medical values worksheet, and a list of additional resources.
While VSED is a widely available end-of-life choice, it remains relatively unknown and can seem daunting for those just learning about the process. This book seeks to change that. Through examples drawn from her family’s experience, Christie seeks to demystify VSED. With an emphasis on the importance of planning, palliative care (including medication to ease the dying process), and a broad support network, Christie describes the stages of VSED in clear, concise language, and highlights the challenges and unexpected gifts of accompanying her dying mother on her final journey.
Written with Jane’s encouragement, The VSED Handbook—available in e-book and paperback—offers a way out for those who are suffering from a terminal condition but do not qualify for medical aid in dying (MAID), either due to geographical location or because their condition doesn’t meet the strict requirements for MAID. As Christie notes, a peaceful death free of suffering like the one her mother achieved with VSED is possible—but only with planning, perseverance, and the support of a trusted team.