Integrity – legislation passed based on false information

Our state saw some devastating legislation passed in 2011 in Senate Bill 5459:

  • One man died from negligence – there was laundry detergent stored in a milk carton, left on the counter and this man, who had been moved out of his home at Frances Haddon Morgan Center to a “community” home drank it and consequently died.  This man had a known disability of PICA (eating non-food items) but regardless of that, the fact that a non-food item had been stored in a food container is negligence – not accident.   I can only imagine the pain and suffering this man experienced in the few weeks between the time he drank this and when he eventually died.  He suffered immensely.  Yet does anyone care?  There were no charges filed.  If this had occurred in a day care center I can assure you there would have been charges filed but because this man had a developmental disability and the state was his guardian, there is no one person to watch out for him and advocate on his behalf.  
  • Our state has passed a law which discriminates against our youth with developmental disabilities.  Youth with high support needs who could be cared for safely and appropriately in one of our remaining residential habailitation centers are no longer able to access those services.  The only option left is crisis hospitalization or jail.  Is this progress?

What is also very disturbing is that this legislation was passed based on false information which was stated as “facts”.  These “facts” are not supported by the data from which they were drawn but the legislator who sponsored this bill chose to ignore any information that he found “uncomfortable”.  Others, when questioned about the supposed facts told me that they say no benefit in reviewing the questions I raised because the state did the research and  wondered why I would even question what the state provided.  This is they type of “leadership” we have.  This is frightening.

It’s time to pull their heads out of the sand, face the uncomfortable issues and address the questions.  Until this happens and there is a real dialogue, there will not be progress.

I have written to the Research and Data Analysis Division of the Department of Social and Health Services asking them to review the “research” report which was used extensively in this damaging legislation.  I have written to the Developmental Disabilities Service Task Force raising critical questions that need to be addressed.  I am hoping to engage in some real discussions which will tackle real issues and facts.

DD Task Force Committee wrap up

RDA integrity attachment

RDA Integrity attachment

FHMC Quality Assurance Report to Legislature

4 comments on “Integrity – legislation passed based on false information

  1. Sarajane46th says:

    Cheryl,

    I agree that there apparently was neglgence in the young man’s death. It would be most helpful if your post included links to any newspaper articles and/or other public materials. Have you or others followed up with possible negligence or an investigative report on this tragic incident?

    Also, what state law discriminates against our youth with developmental disabilities? What is the intent? Not that I don’t believe you, but t his statement cries out for an RCF citation.

      I think it is important to your blog to provide as many citations and links to evidence as possible, so people can come to their own conclusions.

    Sincerely yours

    Sarajane

    Like

    • Thank you, Sarajane –

      I will attache the most recent Report to the Legislature regarding the issues with Frances Haddon Morgan Center.

      You are correct in that the discrimination against our youth should be investigated. I have written on this issue previously and will pull it all together so that it is clear where this problem is.

      One issue is that DDD states the supports and services are there in the community so they youth are not being discriminated against. The services are not there, nor are the supports. Community ICF/IDs do not have the same supports as the state operated ICF/IDs such as nursing care. One community ICF/ID I visited did not even have nurse delegation, no LPN or RN on staff and the residents self-medicate with hand over hand by care givers who are not trained in medications. This is clearly not the same level of support as the state operated ICF/ID.

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    • Thank you – I try to post the resources and citations as much as possible. They are all here somewhere and if they are not or not able to be found, please ask and I will provide the specific citation to document what I say. I am all for transparency and accurate information being shared.

      Like

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