DRO prevents unnecessary guardianship and invasive mental health treatment

DRO monitors guardianship petitions that meet certain criteria such as placement of the person in a treatment facility. We received notice about a woman who was a patient at the Oregon State Hospital (OSH). OSH was petitioning to put a guardian into place who would then authorize Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), previously called electroshock therapy, whether or not the woman wanted the treatment. With ECT, patients are generally placed under anaesthesia and treated with electrical currents through the brain that cause seizures. Though it is better understood than in previous decades, it can have long term negative side effects such as memory loss or brain damage.


DRO met with the woman, who told us she did not want a legal guardian or ECT treatment. DRO intervened by filing a court objection on her behalf, advocating for reasonable alternative of her to participate in any forced medication administrative work with her attorney, if her matter went to hearing. This less restrictive alternative was considered and the guardianship case was dismissed.