Public Sector regarding Policy Advancement
Welcome back to the dignity discussion. In Week Six we talked about the public sector influences on policymaking. This week, let’s talk about the public sector.
We established that the public sector constitutes governmental federal, state, local, county, and city agencies that perform public services and establish laws for the greater good of its citizens. What about the private sector? Since the public sector is government run than the private sector is categorized as businesses, organizations, or agencies that are not government controlled. The private sector can also be divided into for profit (e.g., monetary goals) and not-for-profit categories (e.g., has a greater mission other than monetary).
Longest (2012) describes the influence of interest groups on the policymaking process hinges on the amount of resources they have at their disposal. In Week Two, former Maryland State Representative, Sam Arora, confirmed this by stating the following:
- Policymakers are not always “politicians”; and the majority of bills are drafted by lobbyist groups (although he didn’t operate that way).
- The biggest challenge of policymaking was time, staffing, and resources (he only had a budget of $39,000).
Other factors that can influence policymaking is the size of group’s membership and the prestige of the group (Longest, 2012; Ornstein and Elder, 1978).
Private Sector and Death With Dignity
In Arizona, the aid in dying bill had been repeatedly denied. When speaking with Mr. Arora, I inquired if this bill still has a chance to pass. Mr. Arora did say a good bill always has a chance to pass, especially when there are lobbyists or interest groups are supporting the bill.
Today, legislators wanting to pass the aid in dying bill in their states are looking to organizations like Death With Dignity and Compassion & Choices to help with education and legislation.
Here are a couple of articles about legislators who have reached out to these organizations to elicit public support; and help draft bills.
In the below article, Compassion & Choices is organizing rallies in California to support an aid in dying bill (Santa Barbara Independent, 2014).
In this article, the lawfirm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and advocates with the groups Disability Rights Legal Center and End of Life Choices New York (EOLCNY) filed a lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court to allow doctors to prescribe lethal prescriptions (Newsweek, 2015).
These examples show how the private sector could influence policymaking for the aid in dying movement. I invite those who support the movement to visit the Death With Dignity (www.deathwithdignity.org) and Compassion & Choices (www.choicesarizona.org) websites to learn more about the organizations; and to investigate how to bring the movement to Arizona.
Longest, B. B. (2010). Health policymaking in the United States (5th ed.). Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.
Newsweek (2015). New lawsuit could make N.Y. 6th state where doctors can ‘aid in dying.’ Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/new-lawsuit-could-make-new-york-sixth-state-where-doctors-can-aid-dying-304495
Ornstein, N.J., & Elder, S. (1978). Interest groups, lobbying, and policymaking. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly.
Santa Barbara Independent (2014). Dying with dignity in Santa Barbara. Retrieved from http://www.independent.com/news/2014/nov/08/dying-dignity-santa-barbara/