Monday, March 10, 2008

Prescition Drugs

President Bush last weekend called on Congress to pass legislation that would restrict the online sales of prescription drugs, but the president's request addresses "a symptom and not the cause of one of the country's top medical problems": the high cost of medications in the U.S., Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus writes. According to Lazarus, many U.S. residents, "including numerous seniors and people with chronic conditions, obtain prescription drugs from international sources not because they're scratching some itch for faraway places," but because "they can't afford U.S. drug prices."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

For Elder a loss of Control and Power Courts strip elders of their independence
Within minutes ,judges send seniors to supervised care. Massachusetts Probate and Family Court where judges routinely fast track infirm elders into the care of guardians
No opportunity to object, no right to have a lawyer representation.
No chance to be in the courtroom
No medical required by court rules
No patient long term prognosis
No independent fact finder inquiry.
Problem no relatives involved.
"Un befriended elders" no relatives or even friends, petitioners
mostly hospitals and nursing homes assert person is incapacitated.
After the court declares someone mentally ill and appoints a guardian the patients vanish.
No mechanism in place to protect their interest from unregulated guardians
Massachusetts provides no legal council for incapacitated elders "If criminal defendants are guaranteed an attorney, elders who have done nothing wrong ought to have the same protection"
Chief Justice of Probate presses for an overhaul
Probate Courts will begin demanding greater medical proof that the guardianship is warranted
Additional training in guardianship cases for judges, lawyers and guardians
Massachusetts not in forefront in terms of guardianship reform.
Overhauls of probate law mired in legislature for nearly a decade
Legislation should include:
1. Detailed Medical Information
2. Limit the scope of guardianship powers
3. Examine the guardianship qualifications
4. Provide for the incapacitated person to be present at the hearing
5. Have a right to council
6. Additional court approval for nursing home placements
7. Mandate guardians file detailed annual reports on physical and mental health
8, Create Public Guardianship Commission.