Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NASGA Members in Legislative Action!

NASGA is pleased to announce the introduction of HB5573 to the Illinois Legislature by Representative David Harris (53rd District).

HB5573 protects the validity of previously properly and legally executed Power of Attorney (PoA)  and Advance Directives, stating in clear and concise language that these documents shall stand --only to be overturned if undue influence in the creation of the document(s) is proven at a due process hearing conducted for that purpose. 

Representative Harris consulted and worked with NASGA member and Director, Sylvia Rudek on this bill.  Addressing the problems with PoA and Advance Directives is essential to guardianship reform because many NASGA members have been designated as PoA for their loved one, only to have their PoA wrongfully ignored by the court and a guardianship forced upon their loved one instead.  In most cases, the guardian is a third-party - a total stranger who does not have a personal relationship with the ward nor an intimate knowledge of the ward's preferences or needs. 

Strengthening Power of Attorney and Advance Directives is one of the best ways to avoid guardianship.  Avoiding guardianship is one of the best ways to stop guardianship abuse.

NASGA very much appreciates the hard work and effort Representative Harris, his staff, and NASGA Director Sylvia Rudek have dedicated to the making of this bill, and we look forward to its passing. 


Amends the Probate Act of 1975. Provides that guardianship of a disabled adult may not be used in a retaliatory manner or as a convenience for a health care provider or family member. Provides that no petition for guardianship shall seek relief that is in conflict with any properly and previously executed will, trust, power of attorney, durable power of attorney, health care directive, advance directive, or other directive unless undue influence is proven in the creation of the document, by clear and convincing evidence, at a hearing conducted under the rules of civil procedure of this State. 


11    (755 ILCS 5/11a-8.2 new)
12    Sec. 11a-8.2. Petitions; previously executed documents. No
13petition under this Article shall seek relief that is in
14conflict with any properly and previously executed will, trust,
15power of attorney, durable power of attorney, health care
16directive, advance directive, or other directive unless undue
17influence is proven in the creation of the document, by clear
18and convincing evidence, at a hearing conducted under the rules
19of civil procedure of this State.

Representative Harris (R) is a retired senior army officer.  He served as a State Representative in the 1980s and 1990s. He left state government in 1992 and became the Senior Vice President of the Illinois Hospital Association.
He returned to government service in 1999 as The Adjutant General (Commanding General) of the Illinois National Guard.  He was inducted into the Ft. Benning (GA) Infantry OCS Hall of Fame in 2002, and he retired from the Army as a federally-recognized Major General in 2003 after 33 years of service. He serves as the Chair of the Governing Council of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. Harris is a Life Member of the Association of the US Army, the Military Officers Association of America, the National Guard Association of the US, and the Illinois National Guard Association. He lives in Arlington Heights with his wife, Michelle, and they have two grown sons.


Thelma said...

Great going!

Probate Shark said...

This is a great piece of legislation. I saw a family member tricked out of POA and ultimately her mother was thrown into the "Elder Cleansing" industry of the Probate Court of Cook County. Lucius Verenus, Schoolmaster, ProbateSharks.com

NASGA Member said...

Wonderful ~~ OMG moment ~~ I have to admit I am surprised the people in Illinois will know there are elected legislators who have their eyes wide open for their citizens best interests. How refreshing !!!

As a member of NASGA I am motivated to meet with my district legislators to show them improvements can be and need to be considered ~~ language in dire need ~~ language in laws with meaning never before have I witnessed powerful words that make sense in guardianships.

A big thanks and job well done to all involved!

And in closing something to think about:
Who would not support and vote for HB5573?

NASGA Member

StandUp said...

This is so needed. Power of Attorney gets thrown out of court with the wind. No hearing, no legalities to it. Just ignored.

Thank you Representative Harris.

Kathleen said...

My mother's case the DPOA was thrown out even before the hearing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rep. Harris and Sylvia for working together to make this happen. My mother was guardianized in an unethical manner in the Cook County Probate Court...it is a devastating experience which has ruined her quality of life.

All I can say is THANK YOU on behalf of our seniors and disabled; this law has the potential to prevent others from unethical guardianships for the sake of profit.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Mary said...

Fantastic news! I am going to get a copy of HB 5573 and take it to my representative and see if I can get him to do something.

Thank you NASGA and especially Sylvia.

Anonymous said...

Just due recognition to Illinois Representative David Harris for his impressive services to our county that continues into public service as a legislator who takes his job seriously I agree with others who commented this is a big step forward for the state of Illinois to have a bill introduced such as this now we pray that this bill does in the end become law that in itself is a rough bumpy road wishing all involved in support of HB 5573 a successful conclusion thank you.

Anonymous said...

I hate to interrupt the celebration, but since when do probate judges obey the law? And since when do probate judges care about evidence. Every probate judge I know has no trouble ignoring the truth, and righteously declaring, "by clear and convincing evidence." What is wrong with this country when judges have the right to ignore the law, and legislators feel they have to allow the judge to have "judicial discretion"? Do good family members need to go to court to fight to keep a POA, against liars? If the law says there will be a hearing, and the judge says there will be no hearing, to save the senior's money, there is no hearing.

jerri said...

at last great way to begin my day reasonable people can come together hb5573 opens up the discussion let the dialogue begin great news for all of us not only in illinois but around the usa i do believe in the so called trickle down affect yes i do gravity trumps all i hope this bill spreads from coast to coast to show the importance of having my plans on paper a legal document that means nothing to the court too much court discretion thats a loophole as big as florida sinkholes raise of hands if any of you want to volunteer to have your dpoa disregarded volunteer to have the court to select a guardian from their pals who will take over your life before the ink is dry on the stamp boomers beware the professional guardians along with the public guardians for profit ** there is no such fantasy as non profit ** guardianship corp who will change the locks on your residence evict others who live with you divert all your mail to their po box seize all of your bank accounts and income all the stuff inside your house apartment camper car is in the hands of the guardian who has absolute control over every item including the big stuff furniture hidden cash and valuables pictures of your kids that end up in the city dump while charging you the ward hundreds of dollars

Anonymous said...

I am so encouraged by this. Thank you.

Kathleen said...

I had DPOA for my mother her court appointed attorney said it was no good even before the hearing. They do and say what they want.

Anonymous said...

This is a great bill indeed.

Thank you so much Sylvia and Rep. Harris.

For those readers from Cook County who have experienced unethical or illegal guardianship proceedings in the Cook County Probate Court, please report the situation to local, state, and federal authorities.

This is a helpful website which has information on reporting these situations.


Anonymous said...

Kudos to Rep. Harris and Sylvia Rudek! This legislation is greatly, greatly needed. Please keep us posted on the status of the bill, including which legislators vote for or against it.

For those legislators voting against the legislation, one can only ask himself : "what is in it for the legislator who votes against it", and "which guardianship companies, judges, attorneys, and for-profit nursing homes are they affiliated with?"

Keep up the great work Sylvia and Rep. Harris.


A family member of a victim ot the Cook County Probate Court

Sue said...

Good news is always well received.

Power of Attorney and all advance directives are receiving much needed attention - finally, a bill addresses the specific issues.

Most people think they are set when they execute legal documents according to laws and advice from estate lawyers who should be shouting from the roof tops to support HB5573 - if not well what does that tell you?

If estate lawyers aren't supporting bills to firm up weak laws then we can assume it's pay for their services for estate planning but where are they when a person received a summons informing them they are going to be declared disabled and the court will appoint a guardian you will be a ward which is not what people want.

Old age is profitable follow the $ sign, follow who is supporting HB5573 and who is against it?

No doubt there is a pattern to the probate courts disregarding existing laws. The best way to avoid problems is to pre-plan with diligence.

Hospitals are a growing problem now how to protect yourself from a hospital as petitioner?

Suggestions: 1) Have your family be ready to camp out with you and 2) wall paper the walls of your room around your bed with copies of all of your power of attorney papers because you are entering the danger zone.

Anonymous said...

Great job Representative Harris and Sylvia! And thank you for all of your efforts.

Of course, this law is only as good as everyone else's effort to get a PoA in place...without one, you will wind up in the Cook County Probate Court....

My loved one lost ALL of their money and possessions (which were sold) to pay for attorneys' fees and guardian's fees. Her funds were placed into an OBRA trust, she was placed into a public aid nursing home, and the attorneys and guardians depleted the estate with her fees.

Don't let this happen to you or a loved one. Get a PoA in place immediately.

Thank you Representative Harris and Sylvia Rudek :)

Lisa said...

Just think if all the states had this wording in their statutes, we'd have something to fight back with. Thank you Illinois!

Unknown said...

Going in the right direction - sorely needed

Steve said...

This is something to celebrate! How many guardianships could be avoided if judges weren't allowed to just trample all over advance directives as if they were nothing? This is very hopeful!

NASGA Illinois Member said...

Our family went through court ordered hell on earth here in Illinois.

All it takes is one trip to the emergency room or admit to hospital when you're old to trigger an avalanche of agencies that pretend to protect you.

Some patients are declared a danger to themselves and others - imagine that well that is the code for petition for guardianship of person and estate many times in emergency hearings with no notice of hearing.

We found out too late we're all at risk. When your parent becomes a product to feed the probate machine believe me you will understand what being in shock means the horror of being helpless running in circles retaining lawyers to go to court to try to get a fair hearing then if you complain you are banned from all contact with your mother to protect her from you.

You find yourself divorced from your parents spending yourself into debt retaining round after round of lawyers to get you the children of the ward the right to visit with pre-approval from the guardian and sometimes a guard to watch you.

Then to find out your mother died days or weeks later by letter in your mailbox from the guardian informing you your mother passed away - she was cremated.

Until you experience unspeakable treatment, you might not understand how innocent families are being ripped to pieces at the time when your parents need you most.

Get your papers in order now that's the only chance you have if you don't have POA's you are guaranteed to have the court appoint a stranger a 3rd party guardian team.

Good luck with this bill. Thanks to Mr. Harris and NASGA Director Sylvia for caring.

Gordy said...

It's not just judges. Lawyers are part of the problem too. My lawyer told me my PoA was no good. He lied. I didn't know the difference until many years later and I learned the difference after joining NASGA.

My congratulations to the citizens of Illinois. We need this law nationally.

tina d said...

This is the kind of information we need to learn in high school.

Waiting for the newspapers or the tv news to educate you?

Don't hold your breath the reporters run for the tall grass they are hiding in the weeds when they hear the words that terrify them probate court guardianship.

Big round of thanks to NASGA for news that matters along with respectful recognition to the Illinois Representative for taking time to listen to Sylvia.

Anonymous said...

To Gordy: You are one of many who were mislead or misinformed by lawyers.

We have a friend who happens to be a downtown Chicago attorney. A while ago when we were doing our POA's he told us to get all of our relatives educated do PoA's best at 18 years old and update periodically.

There is no real money to be made for lawyers doing POA's etc but and a big but many lawyers will intentionally lead their clients to guardianship now we're talking big money that can pile up after the death of the ward.

Chicago Attorney said don't do it once in that guardianship trap there is no way out.

I owe our attorney friend a lifetime of gratitude for being honest yes it's all about the money one ward turns into a parade of people billing the ward into indigence dependent on MEDICAID status paid for by we the Illinois taxpayers.

Sylvia Rudek said...

Dear Representative Harris,

Thank you so very much for your dedication and personal attention to the growing problems, abuses and misuse of the guardianship system for personal profit and / or job security.

NASGA and I are very grateful for your time and hard work introducing clear strong language in HB5573.

Wrongful abusive guardianships impact every citizen of Illinois directly and indirectly.

With deep appreciation,

Sylvia Rudek

Director, National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse

Anonymous said...

The law/probate code about guardianship/conservatorship must also be strengthened to require the showing and inclusion of direct and substantive written evidence that (1) alternatives to such processes were strongly pursued and absolutely do not exist, AND (2) that the proposed "ward" absolutely is incapacitated. Guardianship/conservatorship should be a rare occurrence, though in my book the process should be outlawed as unconstitutional.

Mrs. Grant's daughter said...

The judge ignored my poa and ignored my mother's wishes. It was if what she wanted didn't matter enough that he needed to hear it. I hope this bill sails through and receives a lot of publicity so other states do the same. God Bless you, Mr. Harris.

honeybear said...

I pray this bill passes. I wish it was in my state. The judge refused to acknowledge my power of attorney, I think the fix was in. My mother gave me power of attorney. She picked out who she wanted to take care of her when she needed it. How can a judge do a guardianship instead? I don't understand it. I'll never understand it. There's not a day that I don't feel I haven't failed to protect my mother. She trusted me to protect her and I did the best I could but it wasn't enough. All the praying and advocating I did didn't protect her. I pray now for others and for those people who are fighting now.

Daniel Ryan said...

YES! YES! YES! This is some of the greatest news I've heard in all the 19 months I've had to live this nightmare since my loved one Patricia Smith was kidnapped by guardian Teri St. Hilaire!!! The judge, Jack St. Arnold (Pinellas County, Fl) must have used Patricia's advance directives for toilet paper, because Patricia designated me as her DPoA and Health Surrogate, and her brother as secondary, yet, we were NEVER EVEN NOTIFIED according to Fl statute: 393.12 that the probate proceedings for Guardian Advocate had even taken place!!! Does this sound like blatant corruption, and a predatory approach to establishing human ownership for the purpose of stealing the estate to you? It sure does to me!!! Especially since Patricia is held captive in isolation, and also, that so much of her property was sold way below value. There is much more foul play to this story, but it's not time to tell it all right now. Thank you Sylvia, for your devoted efforts in this cause to stop guardian abuse!

Illinois NASGA member said...

This is an absolutely great beginning. Don't stop here, Representative Harris. But, thank you for this one!

Texas Advocate said...

Great news- Texas will pick this up too heading into the next legislative session.

Thanks NASGA, Sylvia & Rep. Harris an effort well worth protecting our vulnerable seniors who are becoming a commodity to the growth industry of Guardianships for profit- under the deception of protection.

Member of GRADE- Texas

William Ender said...

This is the way all legislation should be done: a short and concise bill that makes a major change in just a few sentences. Who wouldn't agree that PoA is trampled on in case after case. This isn't a political issue. It's an issue that will affect every person - Republican, Democrat, or neither - at some time during our life.

Thank you to Representative Harris and to all members of the Il House whom I am confident will support this important bill.

It gives us all such great hope.

Anonymous said...

My mother had my sister as POA. My brother mad false allegations and went to court to have a court appointed guardian and conservator assigned. It was a two year nightmare. They put my mother in a nursing home against her will, after three months she died. One month later we still cannot get the guardian by phone of email to get accounting of the bills that she did not pay, or how much is left in her account. The same thing happened to her roommate at the nursing home. She died yesterday, leaving a stack of unpaid bills even though they took their money. It is a national problem. This was in Calhoun County Michigan. I live in Florida and it is happening here too. Good Luck Illinois

Michael said...

Dear Representative Harris,

Colorado is a beautiful state. If you move here with your family, you'll love it and you can run for Representative. I'll help you. And then, we can get busy fixing problems in Colorado. Think about it, blue skies, mountains...

Bendigo Banksters said...

This is a Fantastic piece of Legislation and one that many States and other countries should learn from and make it their own policy..!!!

For too long Predatory Attorneys and others have used Power of Attorney's as Guardianship LITE and as an open check to steal money and assets from the Elderly, Disable and even Children..!!!

Outstanding work NASGA...:)

Anonymous said...

This legislation shouldn't be necessary, but since there are so many crooks in the system, it is. I won't even waste my time suggesting to my PA congressmen that they introduce something similar. They are part of the problem. It's good to know that there is one person who's interested in doing the right thing. Thank you Representative Harris.

tvfields said...

Atta Girl, Sylvia!!!

Michael Tater said...

NASGA member Michael Tater writes:
Thank God for people like you Representative Harris. Your bill HB5573 is a welcome sight, it brings dignity to the settlors. One would think that the settlors wishes would be followed out of respect;however unfortunately many so-called professionals - judges, lawyers, public administrator, court investigators, GAL's are criminals twisting and contorting the law to benefit their arrogant selves with absolutely no conscience whatsoever, instead of them enjoying quasi-immunity they should be doing prison time.

Sara said...

Great work Sylvia and NASGA board!

Felipe said...

My Grandmother had made every effort to protect herself when she got old. She carefully executed Advance Directives and watched her investments like a hawk. The guardian undid everything she had done and the judge let her do it. They rolled right over her Durable Power of Attorney and they even changed her will. And they got by with it. A law like this would have given her a fighting chance.

I'm jumping for joy for the many people who will be spared such insidious treatment due to this law.

Go Representative Harris!

Mary Waddell said...

HB 5573 is really necessary. In Illinois, the crooks overlooked my husband's POA and put in their own guardian--- who was interested only in Bill's money. He was under the care of that guardian when he died.
HB 5573 would have prevented his earlier death. Mary Waddell

Finny said...

This deserves a good old fashioned celebration! Congratulations, Sylvia, on your hard work. And thank you, Representative Harris for yours too! You're both the best!

Joecitizen said...

PER ILLINOIS STATE LAW... guardianships will be the least restrictive for the ward in every aspect. This new bill complies with the spirit of the state law. Lets pass it! Thank you Sylvia and Representative Harris. Joe Roubicek

Sylvia Rudek said...

Your comments and opinions are important. Thank you for your support of ILLINOIS HB 5573 Probate Adult Guardianships.

William Ender said...
“This is the way all legislation should be done: a short and concise bill that makes a major change in just a few sentences……. This isn't a political issue.

It's an issue that will affect every person - Republican, Democrat, or neither - at some time during our life.”

Some of the persons and incidents that can start a guardianship proceeding:

Any interested person can start a guardianship proceeding, including a corporation or disinterested public agent.

The interested person may be a relative, a family member or a friend.

A "disinterested public agent" refers to local or state human services agencies such as departments of social services.

A phone call to a City or County Agency or State Adult Protective Services or directly to their preferred probate estate lawyer by:

1)A concerned neighbor
2)Mail carrier
3)Delivery Person
5)Bank employee
6)Meals-On-Wheels delivery person
7)Financial Advisor
8)Anyone requesting a well-being check
9)Hospital Social Worker / Case Manager
10) Nursing Home
11) Assisted Living Facility
12) Rehabilitation Facility

Many guardianships are started due to:

Aging issues, illness or an accident.

A trip to the hospital Emergency Room - being admitted as a patient or in the hospital under observation.

The importance for all adults to protect themselves with properly executed legal documents: Power of Attorney for Health Care and Property / Estate. In Illinois all Power of Attorney documents are considered Durable.

September 2013 Wall Street Journal
“Why Your College-Age Children Need an Estate Plan
They Should Designate Someone to Make Medical and Financial Decisions”

Once individuals reach the age of majority—18 in most states—their parents are no longer entitled to see their medical and financial records and make decisions on their behalf.

As a result, it is important for young adults to set up an estate plan that appoints trusted individuals to make medical and financial decisions in the event they are unable to do so.

"Parents assume that because they are paying for college or the child is still living under their roof, they have the right to make legal decisions. But once individuals reach 18, the law classifies them as adults, with "the legal right to privacy and to govern their own lives."

Currently, a temporary guardian of person and estate can be appointed by the court in an emergency hearing held the same day the petition is filed with the court.

No notice of hearing, no due process. Almost all temporary guardianships evolve into permanent guardianships.

HB5573 protects the validity of previously properly and legally executed Power of Attorney (PoA) and Advance Directives, stating in clear and concise language that these documents shall stand -- only to be overturned if undue influence in the creation of the document(s) is proven at a due process hearing conducted for that purpose.

Submitted by: Sylvia Rudek, Illinois

Director, National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse

B Inberg said...

#13) Landlords

Added to the list of those who initiate guardianships for their convenience.Good idea to list the petitioners or those who contact the meat hook of the protection industry.

In NY it's big business lawyers have special discounts for landlords to use as a tool for eviction, hoarding and other purposes. Thought you might want to know about this and add it to your list. And try getting out of a guardianship ~~ good luck to you you're gonna need it.

A phone call to a City or County Agency or State Adult Protective Services or directly to their preferred probate estate lawyer by:

1)A concerned neighbor
2)Mail carrier
3)Delivery Person
5)Bank employee
6)Meals-On-Wheels delivery person
7)Financial Advisor
8)Anyone requesting a well-being check
9)Hospital Social Worker / Case Manager
10) Nursing Home
11) Assisted Living Facility
12) Rehabilitation Facility
13) Landlords

NASGA Illinois Member said...

I noticed meals on wheel delivery person is mentioned in your list here well how 'bout this for something to think about? It has been discovered that aggressive probate attorney was promoting and boasting about the lawyer's volunteer work on the board of meals on wheels now if that doesn't scare the meals out you nothing will. And it's no secret that a number of delivery persons get headhunter fees many are scouts for lawyers and guardian team ~~ payback is cash under the table to MOW scout for every case referred to their preferred lawyer and protection team of billers. In addition to cases where the target has less than desirable net worth well it goes to the county Public Guardian who needs cases to support their growing office and for their Guardianship team who needs steady stream of cash for OBRA special needs accounts now only available to the public guardians in Illinois. Prior to this many lawyers were using OBRA's to stash the ward's cash off the records immediately qualifying the Ward for MEDICAID BENEFITS. Now only the public guardians are allowed to use OBRA's to hide the assets.

Wards who die with excess stash of cash in their OBRA accounts that money is used to create what is known as DEAD WARDS ACCOUNTS Charitable Trust Accounts like a big pool of money to be used only for administrative fees with no accounting to the court.

Dead Wards money for trust account managers at the bank, lawyers and team guardian, GAL's but no money for the ward to even have a telephone or cable tv, who was forced into MEDICAID FACILITY of course who is supported by MEDICAID hey that's you, me the taxpayers who should know Illinois resident with considerable income and assets and millionaires are on MEDICAID due to the protection industry. Yes all in state government and federal government are aware including on state side Governor Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan yet nothing is done to stop this growing trend that feeds generous campaign contributors, protected with heavy weight clout, special interest groups you know the routine.

Anonymous said...

After a three year battle costing several thousand dollars to keep Mom in her home where she was well cared for 24/7 one on one, she was removed by her court appointed guardian to a nursing home only to die within four months robbed of her assets, her dignity, and all she loved. Her end days were full of fear and despair at the specter of the nursing home looming in her future. When she was taken in a cruel and inhumane manner from her home she gave up all hope and lost all functionality. In the end she was denied the right to go home under the care of hospice and two willing daughters even though it was not a medical decision, only a guardians decision.

My sister and I cannot ever make it right for our mom, but getting similar legislation passed in our states would give some measure of peace to our broken souls.

Submitted by: Sylvia Rudek said...

May 2, 2014

Dear Rep. Harris and members of the Illinois State Legislature,

Thank you Rep. Harris for bringing this Bill to a vote based on the very troubling Dolores Bedin case.

As a physician for more than 35 years, practicing both in a Hospital and privately, I ask you and the Illinois State Legislature to strongly support this bill.

I have heard numerous medical horror stories like what the Bedin family experienced. People, devoted to the health care of their aged or infirm family members, have been bullied, harassed, intimidated and extorted by hospitals and Hospitalists who do not take the time to assess the circumstance but jump to erroneous conclusions about family members who often devote their livelihood and very lives to protect their loved ones.

I cannot say why such travesty of care has occurred. Whether for financial gain, inadequate training, or incompetent assessment of the situation. Perhaps it is attributable to the philosophy of a particular institution or personal grievance when challenged by a devoted family member advocate.

Each situation, of course should be judged on its own merits and not have a blanket procedure take place which has even disenfranchised some families and their loved ones, when ill, like Dolores Bedin.

I have direct knowledge of the Dolores Bedin situation having been a friend of the entire family for many decades. The incidents of this "case" were disclosed to me contemporaneously by Ms. Bedin. The daughter of Dolores Bedin, Janet Bedin, has not only been a devoted daughter and sister but indefatigable in being an advocate for her father, mother and brother's medical care.

What occurred to them is unconscionable. They learned by accident while Dolores was in the ER, of a series of CT Scan results taken at the hospital documenting a mass in Dolores’ pancreas which was never disclosed to the patient or family. This was clearly wrong.

When they found out and asked questions, they were bullied, intimidated and all threatened to be kicked out of Hospital, this was wrong..

To have Dolores not be given the diagnosis, after multiple CT Scan reports, or told that she had a mass in her pancreas in a timely fashion even with multiple studies performed, was wrong. For this family to learn, only by chance, that Dolores had pancreatic cancer was wrong.

To threaten Janet and her disabled brother Lex, who Dolores cared for all her life, with a phalanx of attorneys, and hospital administrators, ordering Hospitalists to document Dolores as incompetent, falsely I might add, unless she agrees to their discharge plan, was more than simply wrong, it was sadistic.

It would seem, the fear of Risk Management being called to task on the errors of care led the hospital to use such punitive tactics.

I wish you the best of luck in getting this Bill passed and each of you should feel gratified for trying to prevent more tragedies like this from occurring.


Philip B. Luloff MD

Submitted by: Sylvia Rudek, NASGA Officer & Director

Anonymous said...

This is a great, but very small step. Thanks very much to Sylvia and Rep. Harris.
The PoA that was established in my mother's Will was ignored, the lawyer who wrote the Will and would have testified to her capacity when she signed the Will was deliberately excluded, and any information about the orderly sequence of increasing care we had in place as my mother's needs increased was not allowed into court by any of the lawyers in either of the trials. But the trials transferred over $200,000, or 2/3 of my mother's lifetime savings, into the lawyers' pockets. Not one penny of that went to my mother's care. Many of the same lawyers agree that the case started out wrong (illegally). But the running theme of the lawyers in this town is that we cannot revisit the earlier case because no judge wants to admit to having made such an egregious error. Many of my mother's rights were run over, not just her right to chose who would take care of her. We have a very, very long way to go.

Cathy said...

While I applaud Rep. Harris's much-needed efforts, Illinois barely recognizes isolation as abuse. California has the best law, which should become federal law so no one has to fight/waste time & $ in the courts!

Here it is:

definition of isolation

West's Ann.Cal.Welf. & Inst.Code § 15610.43

West's Annotated California Codes Currentness
Welfare and Institutions Code (Refs & Annos)
Division 9. Public Social Services (Refs & Annos)
Part 3. Aid and Medical Assistance (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 11. Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (Refs & Annos)
Article 2. Definitions (Refs & Annos)
§ 15610.43. Isolation

(a) “Isolation” means any of the following:

(1) Acts intentionally committed for the purpose of preventing, and that do serve to prevent, an elder or dependent adult from receiving his or her mail or telephone calls.

(2) Telling a caller or prospective visitor that an elder or dependent adult is not present, or does not wish to talk with the caller, or does not wish to meet with the visitor where the statement is false, is contrary to the express wishes of the elderor the dependent adult, whether he or she is competent or not, and is made for the purpose of preventing the elder or dependent adult from having contact with family, friends, or concerned persons.

(3) False imprisonment, as defined in Section 236 of the Penal Code.

(4) Physical restraint of an elder or dependent adult, for the purpose of preventing the elder or dependent adult from meeting with visitors.

(b) The acts set forth in subdivision (a) shall be subject to a rebuttable presumption that they do not constitute isolation if they are performed pursuant to the instructions of a physician and surgeon licensed to practice medicine in the state, who is caring for the elder or dependent adult at the time the instructions are given, and who gives the instructions as part of his or her medical care.

(c) The acts set forth in subdivision (a) shall not constitute isolation if they are performed in response to a reasonably perceived threat of danger to property or physical safety.


(Added by Stats.1994, c. 594 (S.B.1681), § 3.)

Anonymous said...

I have been searching for the status of this legislation, and it appears never to have made it out of committee. It appears never to have been enacted. Can someone in the know give an update of what happened, and if this bill will be re-introduced or fought for? I live in Illinois and am very concerned about this sort of denial of civil rights to vulnerable parties.

NASGA said...

Anon, our bill didn't make it in IL. There was an outpouring of objection from a group of parents and family advocates of individuals who live in institutional care.