Listen to the Victims: Senate Holds Hearing on Guardianship By Marian Kornicki

Listen to the Victims Senate Holds Hearing on Guardianship By Marion Kornicki

On March 30, 2023, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing, “Guardianship and its Alternatives: Protection and Empowerment.” Importantly, this hearing featured one victim witness, Dr. Tina Paone, who spoke about her family’s traumatic, unresolved guardianship nightmare. Her testimony resonated for the many victims that listened to her, as we know too well that guardianship cases are never resolved when there is an estate with money. As she said, “On paper, the current system appears well-intentioned. That’s not how it plays out. On behalf of my family, and so many others, I beg you to please implement meaningful reform.” At this same hearing, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) proposed a bill titled the Guardianship Bill of Rights Act, which would create a national council charged with promoting less restrictive arrangements for people living under, or being considered for, court-ordered guardianship—thereby leading to fewer guardianships. As I described in “Guardianship Destroyed My Family,” published last year on Mad in America, I have seen in my own life the damage and exploitation that can be wreaked by court-appointed guardians. In an effort to advocate and enact change, I belong to Victims and Families Harmed by Guardianship, a national human rights coalition that functions as a consortium of state coalitions on the quest for reform. This is critical work. Most victims cannot report the exploitation they are experiencing because they are silenced by gag orders, chemical restraint, or threats of retaliation. So, it is up to us—those of us who can speak out—to use our voices for those who cannot. Hopefully, we will be heard. Some background: Britney Spears is not alone For many people, the considerable harms of guardianship only came to the fore with the story of Britney Spears, whose… Read More