What is a guardian advocate?

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Hello, everyone! It’s Mark, and welcome back to our Q and A series.

In this video, I want to talk about the Baker Act and the guardian advocate.

What is a guardian advocate? I’m going to read a section of the Baker Act statute. It says that the administrator of the Baker Act facility may petition the court for the appointment of a guardian advocate based upon the opinion of a psychiatrist that the patient is incompetent to consent to treatment. If the court finds out that a patient is incompetent to consent to treatment and has not been adjudicated incapacitated, and a guardian with authority to consent to mental health treatment appointed, it shall appoint a guardian advocate. What does that mean? It means that if the state’s Baker Act facility has a psychiatrist, who tells them that they are not competent to consent to treatment, they’re going to have somebody else appointed to make that decision for you. There will be no hearing. A judge will preside over the fact that a guardian advocate’s been appointed, until there’s an actual hearing. You’ve got an individual who doesn’t know your loved one, probably knows very little about the history of anything, and they are going to be making decisions for your loved one. Surely, if you’re the husband of someone who’s in there, the wife, the child, the father, the mother, you are the person who is best positioned to make decisions for your loved one, especially when it comes to treatment in their mental health.

This is why I have been so pushy in some of my videos about taking action and taking it quickly. We don’t want somebody that doesn’t know your loved one making decisions for them, and we don’t want them consenting to the treatment. I’m sure these people mean well, but you are the family; you are the one who is in the best position to make decisions for your loved one. If you want to be able to continue to make decisions for them, then you need to take action quickly. We need to get to call quickly.

Perhaps what we need to do is to file for guardianship. Have you been appointed as your loved ones’ guardian? Maybe we need to petition the court for some bed-to-bed transfer under the Baker Act. There’s a number of ways to do this, but here’s the deal. If you don’t take action, your loved one will become a ward of the state, and strangers will be making decisions for them that have to do with their mental health and their medical condition.
With that said, thanks for tuning in. I’ll see you in the next video. If you have questions about the guardian advocate or the Baker Act when you should take action and when you shouldn’t, feel free to reach out. Feel free to email me at mark@bakeractattorneys.com, or you can message us through the website at bakeractattorneys.com.

Thanks for tuning in. See you in the next video.

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