Monday, April 23, 2012
Death With Dignity
Our Chapter has been asked to support a ballot initiative called “Death with Dignity.’ The proponents and the opponents presented their sides of the issue to The MA Chapter’s Board of Directors. The Board discussed and discussed and then decided to withhold taking any action at the April meeting, pending further research into the issue. My staff was asked to talk with NASW Chapters in the three states (Oregon, Washington State and Montana) that had passed the initiative into law, to see what the ramifications were.
This is one of the many fascinating subjects that the Chapter is often asked to take a position on. Initial review of “Social Work Speaks”, the compendium of public policy statements that the National Board and the Delegate Assembly has approved has no specific policy on the subject, although several of the policy statements refer to a basic principle of the profession. And that is to support an individual’s right to choose, to support individual’s right for autonomy.
The MA Chapter Board will be taking up the issue at its June 2012 Board meeting. And I welcome our member’s views on the subject. You can find out more about the issue by visiting the following websites: http://www.dignity2012.org/ (proponents) and http://www.second-thoughts.org/ (opponents).
Carol J. Trust