Hello! Welcome back to this week’s discussion on the policy process and how to increase consumer participation. All the way back in Week Four we discussed how policies ensured that people’s basic needs and rights are being met (e.g., health, education, and safety).
People reading this blog may sit back and wonder how death with dignity fits into this explanation? In the past 14 weeks this discussion on Death with Dignity was meant to not only provide information, but to (possibly) get interested parties involved in supporting a bill in Arizona.
Policy making should involve consumers, but why? The obvious answer is that consumers should be considered major stakeholders; and have input on expectations, needs, and preferences (Pask, 2011). The World Health Organization (WHO) mentions how consumers play a central role for healthcare quality and safety (2015). For change to occur in healthcare, it takes vast community education, consumer advocacy, and constructive debates (Palmer and Short, 2000).
In Arizona, there is nothing on the horizon for a Death with Dignity bill. With the help from advocacy groups like Compassion & Choices or Death with Dignity National Center the message will continue to spread across the United States.
For those interested parties there is a petition (found on http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/arizona-death-with-dignity) for Arizonans to sign who support a death in dignity. The goal is 200 signatures to be delivered to the Arizona State House, the Arizona State Senate, and Governor Doug Ducey (MoveOn.org, 2015). There is also a local chapter of Compassion & Choices in Arizona; and a meeting is scheduled on March 28, 2015 in Tucson with guest speaker, State Senator Steve Farley (D), to discuss the introduction of a new aid in dying bill (Compassion & Choices Arizona, 2015).
Final Thoughts…A Wrap-Up
Since this is the last week of the dignity discussion, I wanted to end with an news story I read in the Denver Post. It was a discussion about the Death with Dignity movement in Colorado (CO); and an interesting statistic about how 80% of people agreed with an aid in dying, but when asked if it should be enacted into a law that number dropped to 45% (Denver Post, 2015). It appears strange that in conversation people say they agree terminally- ill people should have the right to choose how they die, but won’t support a bill. Is is because this subject matter is an ethical dilemma for most?
I want to hear from the you…the consumer.
Thank you for all your comments; and remember you have a voice!
Compassion & Choices Arizona (2015). About us. Retrieved from http://www.choicesarizona.org/
Denver Post (2015). Lamm: Death with dignity: A new civil rights movement. Retrieved from http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22742840/death-dignity-new-civil-rights-movement?source=infinite
MoveOn.Org (2015). Arizona death with dignity act. Retrieved from http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/arizona-death-with-dignity
Palmer, G.R. & Short, S.D. (2000). Health care and public policy: An Australian analysis. South Yarra, AU: Macmillian Publishers Australia.
Pask, Robert (2011). Getting the whole picture-consumer participation in health policy. Journal of the Health Forum in Australia, 9(1), 1-2.
World Health Organization (2015). Patients have a voice to! Retrieved from http://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/5may2013_patient-participation/en/