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Maryland guardianship decisions should be made prior to illnesses

Maryland families may have to face the eventuality that a loved one may need guardianship. Whether it’s for illness or mental problems, sometimes people become unable to manage their own affairs, requiring that someone else step in and help. Such is the case in a heart-wrenching incident that has made headlines around the nation. One woman’s father has stepped in and is seeking guardianship of his daughter, who is suffering from a terminal illness.

The battle initially began when the young banker ended up on life support after doctors diagnosed her with a tumor located on her brain stem. Her illness has progressed substantially and the woman claimed she wanted to be removed from life support. Her parents fought her decision and stated that they believed her actions were paramount to suicide. While the court sided with the woman, she apparently later changed her mind in an effort to honor her parents’ wishes.

At last report, the woman remained on life support. However, her father has requested guardianship of his 28-year-old daughter. He states that she is paralyzed and unable to make competent decisions for herself concerning her end of life care. Although the woman won the initial life support battle, her custody hearing for guardianship is still scheduled to be heard.

A case like this can be tragic for everyone involved. It shows just how important it can be to make decisions involving guardianship ahead of time, rather than in the heat of the moment after an unexpected illness. Maryland families in a situation similar to this one may find themselves in a heated court battle over such decisions, but a guardianship can be best for everyone involved. When a person who is young and otherwise healthy finds themselves battling for their lives, that may be just when they need the protections of a pre-approved guardianship to kick in to help them.

Source: New York Daily News, “Grace’s father fights for guardianship,” Erica Pearson, Oct. 9, 2012


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