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Guardianship and Medical Treatment:

by Jeffrey H. Minde, Esq.

Louis J. Cohn, Contributor

At age eighteen every disabled adult is considered to have full legal capacity unless otherwise adjudicated an incapacitated individual.

Most physicians have concern that a developmentally disabled adult may have difficulty in giving informed consent for medical treatment.

Thus, many disabled adults are faced with the dilemma that they may not receive prompt medical treatment. Physicians will many times provide medical services to disabled people only under circumstances that are deemed medically necessary or life threatening. Otherwise, someone must be appointed as a health care surrogate, guardian, limited guardian, or guardian advocate of the developmentally disabled adult.


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