Expanded Rights

Gov. Pawlenty signed HF 3128 into law on Thursday, providing critical reforms to the guardianship process in Minnesota.

This bill denies guardians the right to void advance health care directives, and restricts the circumstances in which a court may do so. It increases the rights of persons under guardianship who have formalized their concerns and wishes into a Health Care Directive. It also requires notice if a proposed guardian has been removed with cause in the past.

These changes allow persons with chronic mental health conditions to make decisions about their care when they are capable of doing so, and formalizing those wishes in a way that must be respected even if they are placed under guardianship in the future. At MHAM, we believe strongly that people have the right to be involved in creating their own care plan, and that these agreements can be an important part of staying healthy in the long-term. It also makes it easier for courts to spot proposed guardians who have not lived up to their duties in the past, so that they are not assigned to new clients. We know that it’s critical for appointed guardians to be held accountable for the decisions they make.

MHAM is pleased to see these needed changes make it into law, and thanks the sponsors of the bill: Sen. Mee Moua, Sen. Linda Higgens, and Rep. Debra Hillstrom.

For more information about advance health care directives and planning your medical care, please contact us at 612-331-6840 or 800-862-1799.