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TS Radio Network: Hostage in Guardianship...The case of Margaret Cook

  • Broadcast in Politics
Marti Oakley

Marti Oakley


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From Massachusetts we have a new report of the terrifying human rights abuse of a disabled woman. Margaret Cook, currently residing against her will at Medway Manor Nursing home, was forced to undergo a risky amputation, by her appointed temporary guardian. We'll hear how the guardianship system was used to remove this disabled woman's life savings and property, while her home of 50 years has remained empty for a year and a half. 

During the last court session in Worchester probate court, a memorandum entitled "Guardianship of Incapacitated persons" was delivered to the court room, in which chapter 190B of Massachusetts uniform probate code was cited, noting that a "temporary guardian may not acquire estate assets, or employ persons, including attorneys, to advise or assist in the performance of administrative duties". The memorandum included a message from administrative judges of the probate, and thus seemed to authored by them. The memo also stated "there is not statutory authority for a temporary conservator to sell real estate and it should not be done". Unfortunately, these rules have already been broken in court. Further more, in 2009 the Mass Guardianship association was able to succeed in having legislation passed in the interest of disabled peoples' rights. This legislation forbids the holding of disabled persons against their will when there is a residential home that is left empty and a request to return. The legislation also forbids the sale of property against the will of the disabled, and maintains that a disabled person must be present in court during important decisions that effect them. All of this has been ignored during the Family and Probate court sessions for Margaret, overseen by Judge Geoffry R German.