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Tara Anne Pleat, an SDMNY Advisory Council member, together with her co-authors published this article in the Fall 2018 edition of the New York State Bar Association's Health Law Journal. Here, the co-authors explain some of the issues and controversies surrounding guardianship law and practice with regard to persons with intellectual disabilities (ID) in New York State, which is generally governed by Article 17A of the Surrogate's Court Procedures Act.
"The relative ease by which parents and other caregivers can become Article 17A guardians has been one of its advantages since its enactment nearly 50 years ago. On the other hand, in recent years the law has been subject to criticism by a number of disability advocates, the concern being that the process for establishing guardianship does not sufficiently protect the due process rights of the individual with the disability."
Guardianship for other adults is generally governed by a separate statute, referred to as "Article 81" guardianship, due to its place in the Mental Hygiene Law.
"When we discuss this issue with our clients, we try to educate them on the differences between the Article 81 and Article 17A statutes, and we also remind them that for individuals with mild cognitive disabilities, Advance Directives (Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and Living Will) may be an appropriate means of achieving the same end. There is also a movement in New York to enable Supported Decision Making. Information on these efforts can be found at www.sdmny.org."
Reprinted with permission from: Health Law Journal, Fall 2018, Vol. 23, No. 2, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207.
|Tara Anne Pleat, Edward V. Wilcenski & Katy Carpenter, Overview of Guardianship for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (2018).pdf||Download|