Introduction to Death with Dignity and Voluntary Stopping Eating & Drinking 8.20.21
Time & Location
About the Event
The NASW policy, Client Self-Determination in End-of-Life Decisions, states “Social workers have an important role in helping individuals identify the end-of-life options available to them. A key value for social workers is client self-determination. Competent individuals should have the opportunity to make their own choices, but only after being informed of all options and consequences… without coercion” (NASW, 2003).
This workshop will introduce two end-of-life options available in Washington state, but not commonly understood. Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) was made legal in Washington over 12 years ago through the Death with Dignity (DwD) Act and is available to individuals in Washington with 6 months or less life expectancy due to terminal illness. Voluntary Stopping Eating & Drinking (VSED) is an end-of-life option for individuals in facing imminent decline and suffering who may not qualify for MAID/DwD.
Due to advances in medical technology, rising rates of chronic illness, increasing numbers of elderly and longer life spans, there is a need for social workers in all fields, and particularly those who work in healthcare, with aging adults and geriatric populations, to understand these end-of-life options.
Workshop participants will gain a general understanding of MAID and VSED and will learn about resources, including End of Life Washington (EOLWA): a statewide non-profit organization with over 70 volunteers across the state available to collaborate and support clients in end-of-life care planning and decision making.
1. Understand the basic qualifications for Washington’s Death with Dignity Act/Medical Aid in Dying (MAID).
2. Learn how to support individuals through the process to access medications and prepare for their last day.
3. Be able to state challenges and limitations in accessing MAID.
4. Understand the option for Voluntary Stopping Eating & Drinking (VSED) and the best practices for support and planning.
5. Identify ways to collaborate with End of Life Washington volunteers and staff to provide excellent client support.
Judy Kinney, MSW is the Executive Director of End of Life Washington. She has a Masters and Bachelors in Social Work, with a focus on Community, Administration, and Programs. Judy has 30+ years experience applying her social work education with LGBTQ+ folks, youth and older adults in community settings in Arizona, North Carolina, and Washington state. She became an end-of-life choice advocate in 2012 through her work as the Executive Director of North East Seattle Together (NEST), Seattle’s first virtual retirement village, and has continued to prioritize end-of-life choices in her work ever since. Judy is a community builder who works across generations to gather diverse voices and resources together to bring shared and inspired possibilities to life.
Rachel Haxtema is the Community Outreach Coordinator for End of Life Washington. Her education is in Ethics and Religion and she has several years of experience in advocacy, community organizing and education in non-profits, faith communities and higher education. She is excited to help more people understand end-of-life options and provide engaging learning experiences for community members and professionals.
CE Contact Hours: 1
- NASW Member$25$250$0