Rogers’ Guardianships

In the November 1983, Rogers vs The Commissioner of Mental Health, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court created sweeping precedent in requiring that all individuals who were under a guardianship including antipsychotic medication to have their authority reviewed on an annual basis. Before Rogers, if a guardianship was granted for someone on antipsychotic medications, there was no set procedure to review a guardianship. The court decided in favor of Rogers under the idea that reviewing antipsychotic medication treatment plan on an annual basis protects patients’ rights and prevents them from simply being warehoused and kept on medication that makes them dependent. If the guardianship authority over antipsychotic medication is not renewed on an annual basis the parties need to petition to reinstate such authority. Consequently, if you have a guardianship for a family member taking antipsychotic medications, you could lose authority over them if you fail to have the guardianship reviewed each year. The Massachusetts law of Rogers vs. Commissioner of Mental Health is a protection for persons under Guardianship in that it requires the court to review the specific treatment plan annually.

The Rogers Guardianship rule has also been held to apply to other forms of “extraordinary treatment” including Electroconvulsive Therapy Treatment (ETC).

At Blake Law our attorneys work closely with guardians in preparing for the annual review of a guardianship involving someone on antipsychotic medication or receiving some other form of extraordinary treatment. We can help you coordinate medical information and testimony from experts and establish why the portion of guardianship that exists over antipsychotic medication should continue. 

AntiPsychotic Medications and Rogers Guardianships

There are a number of anti-psychotic medications that apply in Roger’s guardianship cases. If your family member takes one of the medications listed below, an annual review of their guardianship is required:

  • Haldol
  • Zyprexa
  • Risperdal
  • Seroquel
  • Trilafon
  • Mellaril
  • Thorazine
  • Clozaril
  • Abilify
  • Serentil
  • Loxitane
  • Moban
  • Navane
  • Orap
  • Prolixin
  • Stelazine
  • Geodon

What Happens if a Rogers Guardianship Isn’t Reviewed?

If a Rogers guardianship isn’t reviewed annually, that portion of your authority essentially expires. This means your family member could decide to stop taking his or her medication and nothing could be done in the short-term until a Petition to Reinstate that authority is approved by the court. That is why it’s essential that a Rogers guardianship be reviewed annually.

For more information regarding Rogers guardianships and how we can help you, contact Blake Law today.

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