Daily Archives: March 26, 2015

Reasonable Accommodations: Do the lives of the mentally ill matter to the Supreme Court?

This week the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of San Francisco v. Sheehan. The case could settle the extent to which the Americans With Disabilities Act serves as a check on police officers’ interactions with people with mental illnesses. The law demands local governments to provide “reasonable accommodations” to individuals with disabilities, and courts have interpreted that guarantee to include arrests—that is, police should take into account the people’s disabilities when taking them into custody. But the law isn’t uniform across the board on whether cops should make such accommodations if the arrestee exhibits violent or erratic behavior. Does an outburst by a woman who is suffering from schizoaffective disorder, hasn’t taken her medication, and is found holding a small bread knife in her own home automatically strip her of legal protection? Read about the case at Slate and the Christian Science Monitor

From the MOLST Folks: 2014 Update to Massachusetts Expert Panel on End of Life Care Report

This one in a series of reports on end of life care from UMass. It highlights issues relating to the use of a MOLST, which is a medical form similar to a prescription. It contains instructions from a clinician (physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant) to other heath professionals (e.g., nurses, emergency responders), about what life-sustaining medical treatments use or not use, based on the patient’s own decisions. Read the report: UMASS_MAExpertPanelEndofLife_3-2015 Access the MOLST web page