>Dangerous Guardianship Petition

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I believe that the Massachusetts Guardianship Petition sets a dangerous precedent. You know how lawyers love to twist words and redefine their meanings when they write laws for themselves. The problems are their redefinitions:
Incompetent = any one disabled or having an illness; Mentally ill = anything they can pay a shrink to list as a diagnosis – usually some version of institution-intolerant behavior, such as normal anger, smiling, crying, or other emotional display. For that offense, they are drugged and miserable, isolated, and die.

Here’s the other major problem: WE ARE DESPERATE TO KEEP OUR AUTONOMY as human beings. As far as the judiciary is concerned, the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t know! We know family members, and even better, our chosen friends – or at least they know us. Even if they spend too much of an elderly person’s money, if that person is happy, so what? If my mother’s money had run out, I would have sold my house to take care of her, not expecting any reward in return. I never had that chance.

However, if that petition goes through everywhere, people could not beat a greedy lawyer as court-appointed guardian, but would be reluctant to file many court documents proving that they were honest and carrying out the Ward’s best interest.

Many do not need a shrink. You may chose a doctor very carefully and he/she would have answered to you, not to the court. The doctor may use holistic remedies, where possible. You will be hard pressed to dins that kind of doctor here, especially one that is acceptable to the court! No toxic synthetic drugs, no nursing home, no shrinks – just happiness and peace, visits from animal friends, doing what they like, having visitors they love, and delicious home-cooked meals. The guardian’s doctors may prohibit you from knowing the records, the toxic drugs they use may kill the Ward – they are the puppet of the guardian/executor team – they have their orders!

Strangers don’t care, but they are paid plenty. The MA petition is a preparation for guardianship – first requiring that you fill out the assets – yours and the wards. That money is now the goal of the guardian/executor! Unnecessary expense and legal hassle is an impediment to most people who would otherwise be glad to protect you in the lifestyle to which you are accustomed.

If the lawyers or the court never intervened at all, you could settle a problem as a family at little cost. We should instead, be making laws to strengthen autonomy of the person to make their own decisions – and enforce that! You can always have an over-sight by asking a periodic visit of some official.

CAVEAT: Do not allow the lawyers or the courts, to make laws that force a family member or friend to jump through legal hoops in court – friends who were kind enough to allow themselves to be named as potential guardian because they know and care about you, will be discouraged, if they are forced into a red tape quagmire. Making life difficult and expensive for friends and family is a goal of the judiciary, who can see profits and favors with court-appointed stranger (public) guardians. There are very few activists in the world. Most people do not want to be bothered if laws are written to make the task of caring for a friend/family member too difficult.

KISS – ‘Keep it Simple Stupid’- and families can usually work it out for themselves. Make it real hard, and we will be left with miserable, incarcerated, lonely, poor, then dead, wards – our former loved ones or even ourselves.

Written by a NASGA member

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