Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Attorney Gary Zalkin & Medical Advocacy/End-of-Life Issues

One of the most difficult issues families face involves making end-of-life medical decisions for their loved ones.

Attorney Gary Zalkin sometimes gets involved when families have difficulty agreeing on a course of action or when medical providers disagree with families’ assessments of what their incapacitated loved one would want.

He has helped advocate for family’s wishes when hospitals have wanted to terminate treatment as well as pursued guardianship or affirmed health care proxies when hospitals have had different treatment philosophies, or if there has been disagreement between family members and the court needs to appoint one person to have the authority to make decisions.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Using a Health Care Proxy for Mental Health

Attorney Zalkin has helped pioneer the affirmation of health care proxies for mental incapacitation in Massachusetts. His legal advocacy now allows families concerned for their loved ones to seek appropriate mental health treatment without having to pursue guardianship.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gary Zalkin Provides Info On Health Care Proxy In Massachusetts

What is a Heath Care Proxy?

A Health Care Proxy is a legal document that allows a competent adult to appoint someone else to make medical decisions if they are no longer able to make, or communicate, their decisions themselves. Health care proxies had traditionally been used to ensure that an individual’s wishes were upheld in the event of physical incapacitation, not mental incapacitation.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gary Zalkin & Psychiatric Commitment: Advocating For Families

Attorney Zalkin represents families seeking psychiatric or substance abuse treatment for their loved ones. He explores alternative strategies and provides guidance about initiating the psychiatric commitment process. Attorney Zalkin can speak with agencies that have authority to bring individuals to hospitals on a family’s behalf or strategize with the family to present information to these agencies themselves.

He navigates the pros and cons of family members testifying at the commitment hearing and advocates for their interests with the psychiatric facility or substance abuse facility throughout treatment.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gary Zalkin Answers FAQ's On Psychiatric Commitment

What is Psychiatric Commitment?

Psychiatric Commitment is the practice of using a court order to keep a person in a psychiatric facility. Only hospitals are able to ask the court to involuntarily commit individuals. Attorney Zalkin has pursued commitment of patients on behalf of a psychiatric facility so that individuals who are at risk of harm can receive needed treatment and, on a few occasions, he has represented patients who wished to leave hospitals.

About Gary Zalkin

Gary Zalkin brings 14 years of experience as a psychotherapist to his thoughtful practice of the law. He focuses on mental health law, advocating for families of those with mental illness and those with a mental illness themselves, as well as providing consultations to other attorneys.Gary Zalkin graduated from Suffolk University Law School magna cum laude in 1999 as a member of the Suffolk Transnational Law Review. Attorney Zalkin received his B.A. in psychology from Brandeis University in 1989 and his M.S.W. from Simmons College of Social Work in 1992.

Attorney Zalkin has served as chair of the Riverside Community Care Human Rights Committee and as president of the board of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Massachusetts, Metrowest affiliate.Attorney Zalkin has served as chair of the Riverside Community Care Human Rights Committee and as president of the board of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Massachusetts, Metrowest affiliate.

Attorney Zalkin is a member of the Harvard Medical School’s Program in Psychiatry and the Law. In 2005, Attorney Zalkin was honored by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of 15 “rising stars- Massachusetts lawyers who have been members of the bar for 10 years or less, but who have already distinguished themselves in some manner and appear poised for even greater things.”