By Moryt Milo
California State Sen. Susan Eggman has authored a bill, SB 43, that would revise the language in the Lanterman Petris Short (LPS) Conservatorship law. The 56-year-old law’s definition of “gravely disabled” is too subjective many families argue, and they hope the bill will reach Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.
Under current law, individuals with a severe mental illness like schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder can be conserved if they are unable to provide for their basic personal needs such as food, clothing, or shelter. But oftentimes, this is not enough cause for the police or other authorities to place them on an involuntary hold, or 5150. Under SB 43, the modified proposed language would add the inability to manage medical care and personal safety, and include individuals with substance use to the current definition of gravely disabled criteria.
In a San José Spotlight article, Silicon Valley family exposes need to reform conservatorship law, one mom battles the Santa Clara County mental healthcare system for almost 30 years, trying to get her son help through long-term treatment. For this mother, the only option meant finding a way to get her son conserved.