Mental Health Law Committee

The Mental Health Law Committee focuses on legal issues concerning mental illness and intellectual disabilities, ranging from civil rights, to access to medical care, to the plight of individuals coping with mental illness, particularly in the legal profession. During the past year, the committee has been involved in drafting comments to new amendments to the Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHDCA), that affect patients with mental illness and intellectual disabilities. The committee is currently preparing a report on the FHDCA’s exclusion of intellectually disabled as well as some mentally ill patients from surrogate decision-making under the Act. The committee is also concerned with the differences between New York’s adult guardianship statutes that afford fewer due process protections and preserve less autonomy for intellectually disabled people than for all other incapacitated adults.