Legal guardianship for individuals with disabilities

On the basis of what I can glean from this article, I vote for Jenny:

The details of Jenny Hatch’s life have come under scrutiny in a complicated guardianship case that is pitting her wishes against those of her parents and testing the rights of adults with disabilities to choose how they live. The 29-year-old wants to move in with friends and continue the life she had, working at a thrift shop and riding her bike everywhere. Her parents want her to remain in a group home, supervised and protected.

This is a much-neglected issue, and not just for Down Syndrome individuals.  At a time when Edward Snowden, drones, and Gitmo are leading many people to reexamine many civil liberties issues, this one ought to be put on the table as well.  It needs its Radley Balko.  Ask yourself a simple question: if you don’t require guardianship, and yet have been placed under the legal guardianship of another, practically speaking how strong are your rights?  What chances of amendment or redress do you really have and in the meantime how can you represent yourself?

By the way, the article presents this anecdote:

“Given the chance to change anything about her life, ‘[Jenny] stated, ‘America, I would lower taxes,’ ” reads a psychological evaluation filed with the court.

And her media interview?:

The conversation was brief and, for the most part, Hatch’s voice remained steady and soft. She smiled frequently. Then Martinis asked what, if anything, she wanted people to know about her.

“I make my own decisions,” she said in a stern voice. “Not you.”

The article is interesting throughout.


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