Fri, Jun 10|
Supporting Clients in End-of-Life Options: MAID & VSED 6.10.22
Time & Location
Jun 10, 2022, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
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 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 in-depth 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.
Workshop participants will discuss case studies to build skills in end-of-life support scenarios utilizing “NASW Standards for End of Life Care”. End-of-life decision making includes ethical, religious, cultural, emotional, legal and policy concerns and concerns individual’s deepest fears, values and beliefs. Social workers have training and expertise in working with complicated intersections of individual, family, community and culture and have important role as clinicians, educators, researchers, advocates and community leaders. This workshop will help advance these skills relating to Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) and Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED) to improve care and support for those facing terminal illness and unacceptable suffering.
- Understand the basic qualifications for Washington’s Death with Dignity Act/Medical Aid in Dying (MAID).
- Learn how to support individuals through the process to access medications, plan their last day in collaboration with End of Life Washington.
- Be able to state challenges and limitations in accessing MAID.
- Understand the option for Voluntary Stopping Eating & Drinking (VSED) and the best practices for support and planning.
- Describe how to apply NASW Standards for End of Life Care to end-of-life options such as MAID and VSED.
- Discuss how culture and values can complicate end-of-life decision making.
- Utilize End of Life Washington resources to ethically support the self-determination of individuals facing terminal illness and unacceptable suffering.
About the Presenters:
Beda Herbison, MSW, LICSW worked at the VA Medical Center, Seattle from 2000 - 2011. Assignments included the Geriatric Clinic, The MS Clinic, Spinal Cord Injury Clinic and Community Programs. Within the Community Programs, coordinated the Homemaker Home Health Aid (HHHA) program, the Adult Day Health Program and was a case manager for the Nursing Home Care Program. Developed end of life planning meetings for veterans who wanted to complete their advance directives; in retirement volunteered for End of Life Washington (at the time, it was Compassion & Choices Washington State) for about 3 years. Currently, in full retirement, volunteer activities include: providing supervision for licensure with a few social workers within not-for-profit agencies, working with End of Life Washington (continuing education/ambassador program) and gardening.
Rachel Haxtema, MA/MDiv recent Community Outreach Coordinator for End of Life Washington, is excited to help more people understand end-of-life options and provide engaging learning experiences for community members and professionals. 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.