Action Alert: Public Hearing scheduled for LD 2009, An Act to Prevent Abandonment of Children and Adults with Disabilities in Hospitals.
When: Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 1:01pm
Where: Health and Human Services Committee, Cross Building, Room 209
On 1/16 at 1:01pm the Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee will hold a public hearing on LD 2009, An Act to Prevent Abandonment of Children and Adults with Disabilities in Hospitals.
Summary: This bill would require a hospital to discharge a minor or an adult with a disability who is under guardianship to the care of a parent or guardian no later than 48 hours after the attending physician has determined the minor or the adult with disabilities is safe for discharge, and if a parent or guardian does not take custody of the discharged minor or the discharged adult with a disability within that period, the hospital is required to notify child protective services or adult protective services, as appropriate, which must then take custody of the minor or the adult with a disability.
Potential concerns: Though the bill title sounds well-intended, it appears that there could be unintended consequences. If a child or an adult with disabilities is deemed medically able to be discharged from a hospital, there may not be immediate safe options for the individual to return to. More often than not hospital stays are prolonged due to the lack of sufficient services as well the lack of safe, adequate available housing options. Should this bill pass as written, it appears the individual would either have to return to their parents/guardians or be placed in the custody of Adult Protective Services, despite the fact that residential options such as group homes/shared living may not be immediately available, and parents/guardian may not be able to safely house their loved one.
As such, this bill may be of interest to you.
What to do:
If you wish to provide comments and/or testify on LD 2009, you can submit testimony in person, in writing, and/or via zoom.
If you checked the ‘testify via zoom’ link then you’ll get a zoom link emailed to you. On hearing day you’ll be able to attend as a participant (who can’t talk or turn camera on) until shortly before it’s your turn to testify. When it’s your turn, they’ll “promote” you to a “participant”. Your zoom might look like you’ve lost the connection just momentarily, but then you’ll reappear as a regular participant who can unmute, turn on camera, etc. And you can tell the committee what you think about LD 2009. (Senator Baldacci, Representative Meyer, and Distinguished members of the HHS Committee).
Thank you for raising you voice and for your advocacy!