University of Massachusetts Global
February 17, 2022
I have selected “End of Life” as my scenario, and the role I have chosen is “patients social worker in England”. All roles are very interesting, but I can relate most to this specific role. My scenario discusses the end-of-life planning for Anita, a recent stroke patient that lives happily in England. Because it is not legal in England to have this approach with end-of-life planning, Anita has chosen to contact a hospice in Norway that does assist in this area.
After putting much thought into how a social worker in England can assist Anita with planning her last days, I would first sit down with Anita, discuss her plans, and thoroughly understand her last wishes. As social workers, we must understand that the client is an essential stakeholder in this scenario. It is crucial to take an interest and evaluate the wellbeing of a patient under the end-of-life plan as far as their mental, physical, spiritual, and social aspects are concerned. Anita, for instance, should be positioned in a comfortable and neutral space to facilitate a smooth transition from life to death.
Identify an advocacy goal, a specific advocacy strategy that you would pursue in the situation to achieve your goal, and at least two stakeholders that you would include in your advocacy approach.
The grand goal of advocating and helping change how England handles end-of-life for their citizens may not happen with one person. Therefore, we need to include stakeholders specifically involved with patients, the elderly, and caregivers. Anita does not have any direct relationship with Norway. Her friends and neighbors are in England. She is happy in England and should therefore not have to go to Norway to plan the end of her life. These services need to be available to Anita and others going through this situation in England. End-of-life planning should not involve the government; this is a delicate issue and should be handled only by patients and loved ones.
Beginning with Anita, I would strategize a plan to initiate services for her. Anita, educated and once very active, can advocate for herself, at least a letter to the governing officials that preside over this legal decision. Anita, friends, her children, Palliative, and hospice workers are all stakeholders for Anita’s situation and others. The plan would have all stakeholders write letters of concern for Anita and ideas for changing this law. Each stakeholder has experience in this area or has come across the issue of not freely planning an end-of-life scenario. Hopefully, we will start there and get a response from an MP or Minister that feels the same.
Grasping the idea of how lobbying works in England is essential. Anita’s social worker must know who to reach out to who has a particular interest in the elderly population. In England, Lobbying is not a new practice, but it is not transparent. Not just anyone can lobby, and some even call it persuasion. Individuals must take their case to an MP, Minister, or official (Langton, 2021).
Explain why you chose your goal and strategy, including its strength or advantage over another goal or strategy that you might have chosen.
I have chosen a non-aggressive strategy, such as the rational decision-making model. Precisely because we don’t want to ruffle too many feathers. We want to solve a problem, not create one. Lobbying seems to be a delicate subject in England, and we don’t want to cause an adverse reaction for Anita. As Anita’s social worker, my goal and objective are to get a waiver or approval to plan her end of life as she sees fit. This action may trigger a domino effect and cause others dealing with the same situation to stand up to this injustice. Having an attitude directed at solving the problem is our strength in this situation.
We could also create another strategy under the basis of public choice theory. Focusing our attention on the people of England, specifically Anita’s neighborhood. We can go door to door, stand in front of the local market, explain our goal to anyone who will listen, and ask for signatures. This move can be another alternative strategy that will strengthen our case and bring more attention to the matter.
Discuss why you selected the stakeholders that you did, including the specific role they will have in your advocacy plan.
I chose Anita, her friends, family, Palliative and hospice workers to be the stakeholders in this scenario. First, Anita is her advocate in her situation. She is the individual with the one most at stake. Her heartfelt cry for change and justice can create a movement that will force decision-makers to change the end-of-life process in England. Anita’s social worker can inform her about the lobbying process and suggest certain avenues that should be taken to persuade MP’s and Ministers.
We can assume that Anita is not the first to lobby for this change. Anita’s social worker can contact certain groups in England who have attempted this change and inquire about what worked for them, who is willing to listen, and who has a deep concern for changing the process of end of life in England.
Secondly, Anita’s friends, who are also her neighbors, are residents in this specific area in England. They, too, have a concern for Anita and a personal one; sooner or later, they will have to deal with their end of life or for their loved one. They would also want to see change before that time comes. Their insight into Anita’s situation and overall concern being citizens of England is their duty to fight for something that all people of England deserve to be in charge of, their end of life.
Additionally, I have chosen Hospice and Palliative care workers who have seen this situation time after time and who specifically have a concern for their patients and family. These individuals will be able to speak from a medical standpoint and be informed of how a patient, specifically Anita’s quality of life, includes planning their own end of life freely.
Each stakeholder will write a letter to the local Minister, call to make sure they received the letter, and be available to speak on Anita’s behalf if needed. Each will provide their heartfelt plea and/or factual information to strengthen their case.
Identify how your goal advances human rights or social, economic, or environmental justice.
My goal is to fight for the rights of end-of life- patients and create an awareness of its significance to patience and their families. It is only fair that the dignity of end-of-life patience is protected and respected. The government of England needs to be sensitive and flexible enough to grace end-of-life patience and their families’ wishes (Verne, 2019). My goal advances human rights and social justice because at the end of the day Anita is still a citizen of England and deserve to be heard if England is truly a democratic nation. Anita has the right to be heard and served accordingly even as she awaits her death. A democratic and just government is one that puts every individual under their cover into consideration and do the best to achieve positive outcomes for the people and the body itself. I believe England should recognize, evaluate issues associated with end-of-life situations such as cultural practices, social and psychological impacts and spiritual matters before ruling out Anita’s case.
Supposing Anita would want her local priest or pastor to facilitate her last prayers before she dies? This will not be possible because she will have moved to a faraway distance and would have to receive the prayers from a totally different priest. Additionally, if Anita would insist on having the same priest carry out the prayers, they she would have to incur the flights costs of shipping the priest to and from England all the way to Norway, pay his accommodation, food and other utilities. It is safe to conclude therefore, that it’s not a wise economic choice.
The laws of England dictates that every citizen of the country has the right to decide the medical treatment they will receive and were (Robinson & Gott, 2020). This right covers the end-of-life patients as well. Limiting Anita’s choices and forcing her to spend her last days in an unfamiliar place will be violating this right and it unfair to her and her family. Like the rest of the citizens, her voice should be heard and respected. Pushing for this initiative would save Anita and her family transportation costs from England to Norway. Additionally, it would give a peace of mind to know she can spend time with her family, in her home town where she feels safe and comfortable. Solidarity among hospice patience, caregivers, family members and friends will push our agenda and help people like Anita be heard, respected and responded to appropriately moving forward.
Langton, K. (2021, April 16). Lobbying meaning: What is lobbying? Express.co.uk. Retrieved February 27, 2022, from https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1423452/Lobbying-meaning-what-is-lobbying-David-Cameron-Greensill-Capital-EVG
Robinson, J., & Gott, M. (2020). Death–a social justice issue. Kai Tiaki: Nursing Egland, 26(7), 28-29.
Verne, J. (2019). Assessing Palliative and End of Life Care Provision in England from a Human Rights Perspective. Translational and Clinical Medicine-Georgian Medical Journal, 4(2), 31.