Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Story of Benjamin Alfano and the Debate About Who Controls End-of-Life Decisions

Repeat after me: "How is this possible?"

That is the question you will ask yourself, more than once, as we detail the last two troubling months in the life of Benjamin Alfano.

In the space of eight weeks, how is it possible that a veteran with full benefits could be trucked out of the Raleigh Hills assisted living facility he loved -- on Christmas Eve, no less -- and end up desperate and wounded in a locked-door dementia-care unit in Gresham?

Stripped of his telephone.

Restricted to one daily visit from his children.

Drenched in his own urine.

How is it possible that a "protected" person -- in the painfully ironic parlance of the Oregon courts -- and one faithfully attended by a conservator, a guardian, a lawyer and a sizable bank account could be tossed about in such a perfect storm, a tempest that culminated in Alfano's death Feb. 26, 2011, one year ago today?

That's the question four of Alfano's children are still asking, four children who remained intensely involved to the bitter end in their father's life.

A commitment to their father, by the way, that is still held against them by the overlords at the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, the Washington County Circuit Court and Oregon's Department of Justice.

If blame is difficult to assess in the closing chapter of Alfano's story, the fault lines are clearly visible in the vitriolic debate about who is best qualified to make decisions -- and control the finances -- when the elderly cannot be trusted to make those decisions for themselves.

Full Article and Source:
The Story of Benjamin Alfano and the Debate About Who Controls End-of-Life Decisions (Part 1)


Thelma said...

Money. The money. It's all about money!

StandUp said...

Judges can sort out these money/care issues without bringing in a third party guardian.

Anonymous said...

Heartbreaking account of a good life changed due to circumstances that lead to the ultimate harm. If this can happen to Mr. Benjamin Alfano, a Veteran and former FBI agent who served his county is anyone safe?

Rita said...

Care issues don't matter in guardianship. Guardianship is all about money, but they tout the proper buzz words to make it look like they're looking out for the ward when in fact, they're just counting the ward's money.

Anonymous said...

No elder person, with any kind of finacial security, is safe. Once the S0ocial Service System got you in their iron grip, and a judges signature is in place,( who usually has no personal knowledge of the
ward ) the lawyers, guardians and social workers, are the vultures to the motto: Institutionalize -Medicate - and fleece the elder of his or her assets. eb