We are sometimes asked why VESS (now EXIT) is no longer a member
of the WFRTDS. To answer this, we reprint below two excerpts from our Newsletter.
|From our January 1997 Newsletter... |
"At the last meeting of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies in Melbourne, there was excellent opportunity to learn first hand how the world's first euthanasia law had been pushed through. Marshall Perron, the parliamentarian responsible, answered private questions after his public address (see page 4. Also, further reports from the conference will appear in subsequent issues of this Newsletter). As the v.e. campaign more and more takes on an international aspect with the actions of other jursidictions helping to form public and political opinion, an international movement becomes more and more valuable as a forum of exchange. The same cannot be said, unfortunately, for the bureaucracy that dominates the present WF Board. (Surprisingly perhaps, any professionals working in paid employment in the right to die field are barred from the WF Board, so expertise on such matters logically needs to come from outside - and is rarely asked for.) By way of example, we noted aghast that a delegate who wished to consult the pool of delegates about a very relevant topic (the viability of Do Not Resuscitate Orders) was informed that it wasn't on the Agenda and couldn't be discussed. The "agenda" comprised chiefly of several pages of amendments to the constitution and took the best part of two half day sessions. Both the constitution (newly pushed through at the previous meeting) and the many pages of proposed amendments, had been proposed by Board Members. The VESS Committee and Staff have considered the setup of the WF and strongly support the Federation and all the benefits of membership, but we humbly ask member societies to bring pressure to implement a shake-up of how the WF Board operates, so as to maximise useful communication between societies and our joint efforts for euthanasia reform."
From our July 1997 Newsletter...
"The Voluntary Euthanasia Society of Scotland is no longer
a member of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies. Following
a doubling of the subscription fee from US$250 to US$500, VESS sent
the WF an offer of their old rate, which was rejected. Our stated
reasons for not paying the higher fee were that we wanted a greater demonstration from the WF that it was pursuing efficient
means to further the cause of v.e. and that. We did not feel wealthy
enough to donate such a large sum for apparently token benefits.
Our decision was reinforced by the knowledge that one of our motions
for improving the basis of the WF by a basic code of ethics, although passed, was not implemented. We also noted that at the
last Board meeting - admission to which being one of the few benefits
of WF membership, the time was spent chiefly on discussion of the
internal constitution, and at considerable expense, and that discussion
of matters relating to v.e. was shelved. VESS intends to continue
to play an active role in World affairs and, most probably, the public meetings organised in the name of the WF by member
Societies. Should things improve, we would be interested in renewing
our membership and hosting a WF Conference in Scotland. VESS donated
the WF's current logo (which we will now cease to use), and was responsible for the most recent of the WF's publicity leaflets.
We have made many friends in the WF and our drugs and living wills
research flourished with networking in the WF Since lapsing from
the WF we have received many messages of support from other right
to die societies, and we look forward to continuing the same liaison with other Societies throughout the world, whether they
are members of the WF or not."
Since 1990, Exit/VESS has instituted the Carver Model of Policy Governance to ensure funds are used in the best possible way. A principle formula for deciding on expenditure, for instance, is to ask, WHAT BENEFITS, FOR WHOM, at WHAT COST? Much as we have helped the WF in the past, we cannot justify subsidising such a large umbrella group without tangible benefits to those who need it most. Neither do we expense members of staff to attend such meetings unless there is a direct, attributable benefit to our members and potential members. Providing a "news report" that can equally be obtained free online cannot be sufficient justification. Therefore we wish the WF and its member organisations well, but without direct participation until substantial reforms can and have been enacted. Foremost among these we would recommend formal adoption of Carver Model Policy Governance, Transparent Ethics, and a clear demonstration of benefits from costs.