State Guardianship Laws and Supported Decision-Making in the United States After Ross and Ross v. Hatch: Analysis and Implications for Research, Policy, Education, and Advocacy

Jonathan Martinis, Jason Harris, Dean Fox, Peter Blanck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the last decade, and especially after the 2013 Virginia court case of Ross and Ross v. Hatch, there has been a dramatic increase in knowledge, use, and legal recognition of supported decision-making (SDM) in the United States. SDM is a methodology in which people work with trusted friends, family members, and professionals who help them understand their situations and choices so they may make their own decisions and direct their lives. After the Hatch case, in which a young woman with Down syndrome defeated a petition for permanent guardianship by demonstrating that she uses SDM, this methodology has increasingly been considered and used as an alternative to guardianship to enable people to retain their legal rights and make life choices to the maximum extent possible. This article reviews the guardianship laws of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Using criteria we developed, in light of the findings and values expressed in Hatch, we assessed the extent to which those laws recognize or encourage the use of SDM as an alternative to guardianship and as a means to enhance self-determination for people in guardianship. We then offer recommendations for future SDM research, policy, education, and advocacy efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Disability Policy Studies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • guardianship
  • self-determination
  • supported decision-making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Law

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'State Guardianship Laws and Supported Decision-Making in the United States After Ross and Ross v. Hatch: Analysis and Implications for Research, Policy, Education, and Advocacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this