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Pass Susan's Law

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It is a delicate subject.

When and under what circumstances is it appropriate to commit a mentally ill person for treatment against his or her will?

Credit is due members of a legislative task force and an array of experts for the eight months they spent last year exploring every nuance of the issue. In the end, they came up with a piece of legislation that protects society, but also preserves patient rights.

Once passed, Senate Bill 27 would make it possible for a court to force ill patients into mental health programs if they pose a "substantial danger" to themselves or others, not just an "immediate danger" as the law now reads.

Most significantly, the measure would allow a person with a mental illness that’s under control to write a directive in advance regarding care should the illness worsen and cause them to lose the ability to recognize the need for help.

As one noted expert has said, "That gives a real sense of self-empowerment for people who would undergo a terrible infringement of their personal rights."

The bill is a thoughtful response to issues raised by the tragic murder of Susan Gall 13-months ago at the hands of her 25-year-old mentally ill son.

KSL urges passage of Senate Bill 27 . . . "Susan’s Law" as it has come to be known. It is fitting the changes she once lobbied vociferously for be implemented, in order to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

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