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ACT NO. 43


Health; Guardianship Services for People with Developmental Disabilities

This act amends chapter 215 of Title 18 by striking out the terms “mentally retarded” and “protective services” wherever they appear and replacing them with the terms “developmentally disabled” and “guardianship”; other similar strikeouts and

replacements occur in this act to modernize the statutory language to comport with clinically acceptable parlance.

This act also amends standards and procedures for the establishment and administration of guardianship services for people with developmental disabilities, by changing jurisdiction over proceedings brought under this chapter from district court to the family and probate courts and clarifies that proceedings are confidential. This act raises the standard of proof from “a fair preponderance” to “clear and convincing” proof that the respondent is a person with developmental disabilities and is in need of guardianship. Appeals procedures are clarified by this act and this act further directs the commissioner, as guardian, to be guided in making medical decisions for the person with developmental disabilities by the person’s wishes and preferences and by the department’s ethics committee.

Effective Date: July 1, 2001