Circuit court must ensure

justice for patients

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

As a former attorney who represented child protective services and the public guardian/conservator's office, I was appalled to read how the Richmond Circuit Court allows medical facilities and their attorneys to run roughshod over the rights of patients via the guardianship process.

It is the job of the courts, and our legal system in general, to ensure that due process occurs. By inadequately supervising these cases and allowing attorneys who are paid by the hospitals attempting to evict patients to serve as the patients' guardian, the court is failing in its duty to ensure that justice is done and due process happens.

At minimum, the people who are potentially being put under guardianship need their own attorney who is not being paid by the facilities attempting to evict them. Additionally, barring extreme circumstances, there is no reason why the potential wards should not be at the hearing in person. If another court can figure out how to hold a hearing for a morbidly obese drug dealer (in a loading dock), surely the Richmond Circuit Court can figure out a way to ensure that these folks are present in order to advocate for themselves when they might have their rights stripped away.

A court's job is to ensure justice is done — not provide rubber stamp approvals.

Bobbie Todd.


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