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Council Approves Landmark Bill Supporting Developmental Disabilities PDF Print E-mail
Written by Charles Allen   
Wednesday, 02 July 2008

Council Gives Approval to Landmark Legislation Supporting Persons with Developmental Disabilities

On Tuesday, July 1, Council gave initial approval to bill 17-432, “Health Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008.” The legislation was introduced by Councilmember Tommy Wells and Chairman Vincent C. Gray.

“This is landmark legislation,” commented Wells. He added, “This bill guarantees that every person within the DDA system who needs a guardian will have one when critical decisions need to be made.”

The legislation has been under the review and consideration of the Committee on Human Services, chaired by Mr. Wells, since its introduction last year. Working with representatives from the Mayor’s office, the advocacy and legal community, Mr. Wells spent the last several months working through the complex bill to ensure all stakeholders supported this final product.

“This bill streamlines and modernizes the process for the appointment of guardians for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, so they can get the health care they need when they need it,” explained Wells.

In addition, the legislation establishes a process to require informed consent for psychotropic medications, and to require the administration of such medications only when accompanied by a behavioral plan and after receiving approval from an independent panel appointed by DDS. The new effort requires that the Department of Disability Services ensure competent and consistent monitoring of psychotropic drugs and their side effects.

The legislation will come before Council for a final vote on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.


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