Aim: To gain insight into the experiences of family caregivers who accompanied a loved one during voluntary stopping of eating and drinking and to identify similarities and differences between cases of voluntary stopping of eating and drinking to develop a conceptual model. Design: A qualitative holistic multiple case study. Methods: We conducted narrative interviews with family caregivers (N = 17). We first analysed them inductively within the cases, followed by a cross-case analysis to merge the experiences into a conceptual model. Results: Family caregivers who could accept their loved one's wish to die stood up for the last will, especially when the cognitive abilities declined. They had to take on the role of an advocate to protect their self-determination from others who tried to interrupt the process. In their advocacy, they found themselves constantly in moral discrepancies. Usually without support, they provided nursing care until death. The subsequent processing phase was characterized by evaluating the dying situation and placing voluntary stopping of eating and drinking in their value scheme.
- Qualitative Research