The Southeast VSED regional conference brings together leading voices from bioethics, clinical-medicine, law, public policy, and criminal justice – with valuable insights from scholarly research, clinical practice, medical school teaching, public policy advocacy, and law enforcement on the challenges of end-of-life decision-making.

VSED – Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking – is an ethical, legal, and accessible choice for a competent person to end pain and suffering in all 50 US states. However there are many real-world variations and nuances that present ethical, clinical, and legal challenges.  The VSED 2017 conference will delve deeply into the difficult issues that arise for the many individuals and families who will face the momentous decision for themselves or for their loved ones: what is the best choice for me or for those for whom I care at life’s end?

Keynote Speaker:   Thaddeus Pope, JD, PhD. – Director, Health Law Institute and Professor of Law, Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Professor Pope has published extensively – in 35 law review and bar journal articles, and in over 90 book chapters and articles in medical journals, nursing journals, bioethics journals. He has testified in numerous legislative hearings and he has served on national bioethics and public policy boards. His writings have appeared widely, including in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, New York Times, and in numerous popular media.   He is the author of the definitive treatise The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decision-Making. It is especially relevant to our VSED Conference that Dr Pope has authored an exhaustive 65-page law review article:  Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking: A Legal Treatment Option at the End of Life. Teacher, bioethicist, avid outdoorsman, prolific writer on law, bioethics, and end-of-life issues. 

Speaker:  John Moskop, PhD. –  Professor of Internal Medicine and Chair in Biomedical Ethics at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Professor Moskop is the author of more than one hundred articles and book chapters. His 2016 book  Ethics and Health Care: An Introduction speaks to many of the issues to be addressed in our VSED 2017 Conference, including the role of ethics in health care, law and ethics in health care, informed consent to treatment, surrogate decision-making, resource stewardship, advance care planning and advance directives, moral conflicts in end-of-life care, medical futility, and aid in dying.  His research interests include ethics and emergency medicine, advance care planning, and end-of-life decision-making. Teacher, bioethicist, researcher, and writer on ethics in medicine. 

Speaker:   Mark Corbett, MD, MA in Bioethics. – Associate Medical Director, Hospice & Palliative CareCenter; Assistant Professor, Wake Forest Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine.  Dr Corbett has developed a video-conference training curriculum for the long-term care interdisciplinary team focused on teamwork skills and interprofessional geriatric competencies.  He has written on the challenges of end-of-life care as between patients and their doctors: “VSED: Death With Dignity or Without?” in Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics and “Palliative Sedation: Clinical & Ethical Controversies.” Clinician, teacher, and writer on challenges of eldercare issues.