Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking is not new. It is merely becoming more common in our culture as people learn more about it. There are many ways to approach VSED. While my husband was considering to go through VSED, I learned that some of the Jains in India do this at the end of their life. It is part of their religious beliefs.
When I educate others about VSED and end of life issues, I am not discussing this in the context of religion. I think of VSED as a compassionate way to exit this life when a person does not want to experiences the alternative choices available to them. It is applicable in the face of many debilitating diseases that cause a great deal of suffering.