Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Sweeping Legacy

In Turners Falls, nearly 100 miles west of where she spent decades confined in Boston psychiatric facilities, Ruby Rogers died quietly in a nursing home, a relatively anonymous end for a woman whose name is routinely invoked during court hearings involving the mentally ill.

Ms. Rogers, who spent her last years at the Farren Care Center, left a sweeping legacy that established key rights for the mentally ill in the Commonwealth. With Rogers v. Okin, the landmark case that bore her name, she also helped determine the course other states took to help certain psychiatric patients participate in decisions about their treatment. Courts and lawmakers elsewhere examined the precedent that Ms. Rogers and six others set with the lawsuit they filed in 1975.

As a result of that case, the mentally ill in Massachusetts must give informed consent before doctors and nurses administer medication. A doctor who believes a patient isn't competent to grant permission must schedule what is known as a "Rogers hearing." If the patient is found to be legally incompetent, a judge - through what is called "substituted judgment" - decides whether the patient would want to accept the prescribed treatment.

Full Article and Source:
Ruby Rogers; helped win key rights for mentally ill

See also:
Ruby Rogers Center


Anonymous said...

A great loss. I hope she died surrounded by the comfort and love of family.

Anonymous said...

Indeed this was an important case. Everyone deserves informed consent -- it's not fair to lump people together into a wide catagory and then abuse them.

Ms. Rogers left a legacy that will help many people long after her passing.

Anonymous said...

This lady's family should be very proud of this sweeping legacy she leaves behind!

Anonymous said...

Bless her heart.

Anonymous said...

Despite her legacy, elder abuse continues in the lack of informed consent. In our case, our loved one not only was administered an anti-psychotic with out consent, a "Do Not Resuscitate" was assigned.

The Human Rights Commission responded three years after our loved ones death with a recommendation for "education for the facility".

jerry said...

The first thing guardians do is play the power trip they authorize DNR then the 2nd thing is to force psychotropic drugs to a person who lived a clean life for alomost 90 years no medications healthy organic foods and then the ward died in less than 3 months from over medications starvation and dehydration. Karma I hope the guardian comes to the same end or worse that is my desire and my prayer every night no forgiveness never.