AN ACT RELATING TO ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 18 V.S.A. § 7408 is added to read:
§ 7408. ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY
The commissioner shall oversee the use of electroconvulsive therapy in Vermont and may adopt rules to govern the practice of electroconvulsive therapy. The commissioner's duties shall include:
(1) establishment of a uniform informed consent process, forms, and materials;
(2) oversight and monitoring of all facilities administering electroconvulsive therapy; and
(3) the collection of statistical data on the use of electroconvulsive therapy from all treating facilities.
Sec. 2. REPORTING REQUIREMENT
(a) The commissioner shall convene a committee on guardianship relating to electroconvulsive therapy for individuals with developmental disabilities or mental illness. The committee shall include the commissioner of developmental and mental health services or his or her designees who shall serve as chair of the committee, a representative appointed by each of the following stakeholders, and representatives of any other stakeholders designated by the commissioner:
(1) Adult Protective Services.
(2) Health Care Ombudsman.
(3) Long-term Care Ombudsman.
(4) Office of Public Guardianship.
(5) Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.
(6) Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights.
(7) Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council.
(8) Vermont Legal Aid.
(9) Vermont Probate Judges Association.
(10) Vermont Protection and Advocacy.
(11) Vermont Psychiatric Association.
(12) Vermont Psychiatric Survivors.
(b) The committee shall be subject to the provisions of subchapters two, three, and five of chapter five of Title 1 (open meetings; public records; interpreters). The committee shall solicit public comment in connection with its deliberations.
(c) The committee shall make recommendations, in the form of a report, on existing consent materials and procedures, and for revision to the current guardianship statute and rules to ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities or mental illness, lacking capacity to make medical decisions relating to electroconvulsive therapy, have access to a fair and adversarial probate court process and have legal representation by knowledgeable counsel. The committee's report shall be submitted to the General Assembly on or before January 1, 2001.