Statutes of the International Association of Thanatology and Suicidology
Article 1: Name and Residence of the Association
A civil Association has been constituted under the name of: “INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THANATOLOGY AND SUICIDOLOGY” (IATS).
Association’s seat coincides with the President’s place of residence.
Affiliated branches can be established in any country where desired as long as it proves convenient for the batter functioning of the Association.
Article 2: Objective of the Association
The Objectives of the Association are:
a) To promote the multi and interdisciplinary study of death, dying and of all connected topics
b) To serve as means of interchange of this knowledge among members of the Association as well as with other association, societies, institutes, study centers, etc., that have similar interests to those of the Association. The aim in this respect is to promote a true dialogue between all forms of Thanatology present in world’s cultures, according with the “Manifest of Thanatology” (appendix n.1);
c) To spread the acquired experience and knowledge through all possible means all over the world where required;
d) To promote all forms of genuine and effective assistance to the terminally i11 patients and their families also in the grieving process.
e) To promote all forms of genuine and effective assistance to Suicides and their Families.
f) To provide help and support to all those involved in the fields of Health, Thanatology and Suicidology by bringing physical, moral, psychological, emotional, legal and spiritual assistance.
g) To organize seminars, congresses, university courses, and other academic activities for Thanatologists and Suicidologists.
Article 3: Material Means of the Association
This is a non for profit Association with a permanent character and all of its resources will be used exclusively for its own social purpose.
The material means will be obtained:
a) Through Membership fees.
b) Through voluntary contributions and subsidies.
c) Through net earnings from events, such as congresses.
Article 4: Rank of Memberships
Within the Association the Rank of Memberships is as follows:
a) Founding Members: The individuals who signed in the Foundation Act of the Association during the First International Congress in San Luis Potosì, Mexico, and those who signed in the Constitution Act of the Association.
b) Active Members: individuals who are admitted as such and have full rights and duties as described in the Statutes and Internal Regulations of the Association.
c) Honorary Members: Individuals who being or not members of the Association have made an exceptional contribution through their work or service for it. The General Assembly will appoint such members and will inscribe them in the Honor Book.
d) Associations Member: The Associations, Societies or other agencies who are interested in working towards the goals of the Association. They can become members only when at least two of their members have already become Active Members of the IATS, and request to be admitted through their official representative.
Article 5: Admission of new Members
Those who wish to become new members of the IATS, must meet the following requirements:
a) Complete the Admission Form.
b) Write down their personal motivation for wanting to become a member.
c) Pay the New Membership Fee and the Annual Fee.
Any person with majority of age can become an active member of the IATS, regardless of sex, race, nationality, occupation or professional status, religion or political affiliation.
The Governing Body will determine the acceptance of the candidate by simple majority. This decision shall be definite and can not be appealed.
Article 6: Rights of Members
Any member with full rights has the following privileges:
a) To be elected to any position in the Association’s Governing Body, according to the guidelines marked in this Statutes.
b) To be appointed to any of the Auxiliary Commissions of the Association.
c) To vote in the General Assembly and whenever a vote is required.
d) To receive the TATS publications.
e) To receive a Membership Card which entitles him as a member of the IATS.
f) To withdraw from the Association when desired. If having a Government position or belonging to a Commission, his resignation will be effective six months after having submitted it or upon completition of his commission.
Articles 7: Duties of Members
Every member is obliged to:
a) Promote the Association, its goals and objectives, whenever possible
b) To efficiently perform the entrusted duties.
c) To respect anything ordered by the Statutes, Internal regulations so as the Association’s Government resolutions.
d) To notify the General Secretary of any change of address.
e) To pay the Annual Fee as well as any eventual fee when required.
Article 8: Causes for Suspension or Expulsion of Members
The right to membership ends:
a) By a voluntary withdrawal from the Association.
b) Because of death.
c) On a decision made by the General Assembly, according to the following article.
Article 9: Considerations for Member’s Suspension
Founding or active members could be suspended if:
a) He acted obviously violating the Statutes. Internal Regulations or aqainst professional ethics.
b) He acted aqainst the Association or any of its members by action or neqlection, unless justifying his action.
c) He acted against the Terminally ill patients, their families or an, individual that had come to the IATS for assistance.
d) He has not paid his fees for three consecutive years without a written authorization of the General Treasurer.
Article 10: The Association’s Patrimony
The Association’s goods are changeable and will be constituted by member’s contributions, their periodic fees, donations received from individuals and/or companies, or contribution fees from special events organized through IATS or any of its members.
Article 11: Loss of Rank
In the event that a member losses his rank as such for whatever the cause; resignation, suspension, death, he will automatically loss in favor of the Association, the total amount of his contributions. The quality of membership is neither transferable nor hereditary.
Article 12: Constitution of the Government
The Association’s Government is constituted by:
a) The General Assembly.
b) The Executive Board.
c) The Judiciary Committee.
Article 13: On the General Assembly
The General Assembly will be constituted by all members, founding or active, that have full rights. It is the highest authority within the Association. To be legally constituted to session, at least half plus one of the notified members have to be present. In the event that the established number of members have to be present. In the event that the established number of members could not gather, a second reunion will be held on the same date and place, as indicated in the official letter of convocation notwithstanding the number of participants. Decisions made by the General Assembly are obligatory for all members including dissident and absent ones. If changes have to be made to the Statutes, in the General Assembly will have to act as indicated in article 18 h.
Article 14: On the Official Letter of Convocation to the General Assembly
A General Assembly will held every two years. The official letter of convocation will have to be mailed to every member. Founding and active with full rights, in accordance with the Statutes, with a minimum time of five months or a maximum of six.
If a third part of the members with full rights or a third part of the Executive Board and the Board of Directors request it, an Extraordinary Assembly will have to be organized and the official letter of convocation for it will have to be signed in by the President and General Secretary.
Article 15: Issues to be discussed in the Ordinary General Assembly
The General Assembly will discuss any issue of interest for the Association. Among others:
a) Study and approve if proceeds, the previous General Assembly’s minute.
b) Study and approve if proceeds, the Presidents’ Treasurers and Auxiliary Commissions’ reports.
c) Study and approve in its case the proposals presented by the President, and those presented by the General Secretary, being those the ones sent by members with full rights with ninety days in advance to the starting of the General Assembly.
d) Elect two or more scrutators to be employed as such during the Assembly.
e) Study and decide on any proposal against a suspension.
f) Establish the Annual Fee for members.
g) If having candidates, elect those to be appointed Honorary Members of IATS.
h) Review Statutes, and if considered appropriate, approve needed chances. To achieve this, a vote of at least two thirds of the members is required. If the number of votes is not achieved, the General Assembly will then decide the best way to achieve the number of votes.
i) Dissolve the Association if needed.
Excepting what has been prescribed in character “h” of this Statute, every decision made by the General Assembly will be decided by simple majority.
Article 16: Minute of the General Assembly
Upon finishing the General Assembly a Minute of it will be compiled and signed in by these who acted as President and Secretary of the Assembly. The minutes will have to be preserved in the Association’s headquarters.
Article 17: The Executive Board
The Executive Board is responsible for the Association’s management. The Board is integrated by the Association’s President, a General Vice President, a General Secretary and a
Treasure. Some vocals could be appointed if considered appropriate for the Association.
Members of the Executive Board will be elected by the corresponding General Assembly and will hold their position for a period of four years, so for their work to have continuity and intensity. Each one of them could be reelected only for two times.
Article 18: The Association’s President
Duties and privileges of the President are as follows:
a) He has to convey the Social signature of the Association. He can have also if necessary, the charge of treasurer .
b) He will be able to vote in case of an equal number of votes be it in General Assembly’s decision or in Governing body meetings.
c) He will have to watch over the fullfillment of agreements made by the General Assembly, of the present Statutes, Internal Regulations and Government dispositions.
d) He will be able to request to reconsider any agreement made by the General Assembly, so that a new resolution can be emitted.
e) Represent the Association with full authority before any other authority: civilian, judiciary, management, military or religious.
f) Appoint the collaborators he thinks convenient for the accomplishment of his duty.
g) Summon the Executive Board and Board of Directors for the Annual General Meetings as well as to the Extraordinary ones.
h) Preside over the General Assembly’s and Government meetings.
Article 19: The General Vice President
The General Vice President will help the President in everything related to the accomplishment of his duties and will substitute him in case of his absence.
Article 20: The General Secretary
Duties of the General Secretary are as follows:
a) Prepare, in accordance with the president, the Agenda and Documents required for the Government meeting.
b) Compile the Minute for the General Assembly to be discussed and approved in the next General Assembly. Present it, if it corresponds to him.
c) Carry out the assignments established by the General Assembly and the Board of Governors of the Association.
d) Present to the General Assembly any proposal from members with full rights received within a period of ninety days prior to the starting of the General Assembly.
e) Periodically submit to the Executive Board and Board of Directors the scientific and management reports.
f) Keep an orderly file of the Association.
g) Mail on time to all members the letters and communications proceeding from the President and the Governing Body.
He can appoint the required people to , help him in his management duties.
Article 21: The Treasurer
Duties of the Treasurer are as follows:
a) Keep updated the bookeeping to be presented to the corresponding Fiscal Authorities in the IATS headquarters, the President and the Governing Body.
b) Collect either the annual or eventual fees of those members previously approved by the Governing Body.
c) Exempt a member of his obligation to pay the annual fee.
d) Watch over the Association’s goods.
e) Submit a full report en the Financial Status of the Association to the General Assembly.
The Treasurer can appoint the required people to help him carry out his duties.
Article 22: Duties of the Executive Board
The Executive Board together with the Board of Directors are the Governing Body.
The duties of the Executive Board are as follows:
a) To properly carry out any business related to IATS with extreme care, not to act against decisions made by the General Assembly or the present Statutes.
b) Prepare the Minute for the General Assembly and send to every member the official letter of convocation for the same.
d) Approve new Associations or active members.
e) Expel a member when required.
f) Fix the annual budget for the Association¬.
g) Submit to the General Assembly the reports on activities, research studies and bookeeping of the Association.
h) Inform every member of the issues and decisions made by the Governing Body as well as any other issue of interest for the Association.
i) Attend the Annual Governing Body meetings in the place and date indicated by the President. If two or more members either of the Executive Board or of the Board of Directors request it, the President will convoke an Extraordinary Meeting. In case an urgent issue arises the President will communicate himself with the members of the Governing Body by any means of written communication.
Decisions and agreement made in these meetings will be of the knowledge through a letter signed in by the President, the General Secretary or the Treasurer, according to the case.
Article 23: The Judiciary Committee
The Judiciary Committee will have to make the final decision in those cases where a strong discrepancy between the Governing Body and any of the members is present. The Committee have the final word, based on the knowledge of every particular case and its own consciusness without prejudices of any kind.
The Committee will be established whenever necessary by two members representing each of the conflicting parties, choosen by them. A fifth member will be appointed as President of the Committee; his vote will be decisive in case of an even decision.
Article 24: Elections of the Governing Body
Members of the Executive Board as well as those of the Board of Directors will be elected every four years in the corresponding General Assembly. Each one of them could be reelected for the same position only for two times.
Article 25: Procedure for Elections
a) Six months prior to elections the Executive Board will summon every member with full rights through a letter signed by the President and the General Secretary. The place and date for elections same as request of names of possible candidates for the different positions will be clearly stated.
b) Members who desire it will send to the Association’s Headquarters the names of their candidates. From their responses, the Executive Board will write down a “list of nominees “for each position of the Governing Body, by taking into account only these responses received in the Association’s Headquarters with at least four months in advance prior to elections date.
c) The list of nominees will propose three members as official candidates for each position being those that were named more times in the responses sent by the members.
d) The list of nominees should be sent to every member with full rights at least six weeks prior to elections date together with a letter explaining the concrete order and procedure to be followed during elections. Both documents will be signed by the President and the General Secretary.
Article 26: Elections for the Executive Board
Elections for members of the Executive Board will be through a secret ballot. A vote could be given only to those members whose name appear on the list of nominees. A vote for any other person is not valid.
Every election will be decided by a simple majority of votes. To insure the International character of the Association there won’t be two members of the same nationality neither on the Executive Board nor on the Board of Directors at one time.
Article 27: Vote of those not attending the Assembly
Members with full rights that can not attend the General Assembly where elections are carried out, will be able to send their vote in a signed letter in a sealed envelope, addressed to the General Secretary at latest, the day of elections.
Article 28: Possible problems on elections
a) If while counting votes, two or three are nominated for the same position, elections will be repeated for this position as many times as needed The vote will be only among these that remain in an even vote and will be given by those members with full rights present for the election.
b) If three or more members of the same nationality were elected members of the Executive Board, the attending voters will decide by a secret ballot who will remain for that elected position; they will immediately vote for another member for the vacant position.
Article 29: Certification of Elections
Once concluded the elections the corresponding Minute will be written down immediately, stating the names of those elected for each Government position. This minute will explain the legality of elections, which will depend exclusively on the fullfillment of the norms stated in the present Statutes. The Minute will be signed by those who acted as President and Secretary for the General Assembly and will be kept to the Association’s Headquarters.
Article 30: Elections for the judiciary Committee
The Judiciary Committee it will be appointed as stated in Article 23 of these Statutes.
Article 31: Causes for dissolution
The Association could only be disolved by an Extraordinary General Assembly resolution or by a resolution given by the competent Civilian Authority. In the first instance the require vote is of at least two thirds of the founding members and members with full rights.
Article 32: On the Association’s Goods
In case of dissolution of the Association, the Extraordinary General Assembly will appoint those liquidators in charge of the assets, credits and payment of debits. Once the liquidation is over, the remainings will be donated to any other foundation or Association with similar interests.