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Justice Anderson raised concerns about the broad authority given to guardians.
“There are no checks by anybody else,” he said. “The power is pretty significant. I wonder if the Legislature intended to give that much power.”
McLeod countered that guardians must file frequent reports on their wards and that any concerns can be brought to court. “Guardians aren’t acting in a vacuum,” he said.
Biglow suggested that the justices consider developing some guidelines.
“Right now, the court really has no knowledge when end-of-life decisions are made,” he said. “The court should know about its wards.”
The final comment came from the court’s newest justice, Wilhelmina Wright, who said, “This sounds like a legislative and not a court issue.”
And indeed, the Legislature may take up the issue this session. It’s not clear when the state Supreme Court might rule.
After the hearing, McLeod said he thought the justices thoroughly addressed critical issues on both sides. “As a lawyer, I really appreciated it,” he said. “They figured out exactly what to address.”
David Chanen • 612-673-4465