Legal Issues Surrounding Aphasia
Several articles discussing competency of people with aphasia when dealing with wills, serving on a jury, acting as a witness, unethical conduct by attorneys affecting a person with aphasia, the speech-language pathologists role in aphasia treatment, and law enforcement responses to people with aphasia can be found at on the National Aphasia Association's website.
The Americans with Disabilities Act
One way in which individuals with aphasia are protected by the law is through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Americans with Disabilities Act is an act of Congress to protect the constitutional freedoms and ensure fair and equal treatment and services to individuals with disabilities.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) waiver
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) waiver is one way for an individual who has experienced TBI to receive services such as speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, transportation, hospital visits, home health (including personal care), environmental modifications, assistive technology and many others.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney document, specifically a medial power of attorney document, is used in the case that an individual needs to be appointed to make decisions regarding health care on behalf of another individual who may be incapacitated to make these decisions for themselves.
“Power of attorney is granted to an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” to give that individual the legal authority to make decisions for an incapacitated “principal.” The laws for creating a power of attorney vary from state to state, but there are certain general guidelines to follow... The principal determines the amount of power given to the attorney-in-fact, and this individual can be given the authority to deal with only one particular issue (a specific power of attorney), or to handle most of the principal’s personal and financial matters (a general power of attorney). Regardless of the type of power of attorney granted, the attorney-in-fact is responsible for keeping accurate records of all transactions that he or she makes on behalf of the principal. The attorney-in-fact also is responsible for distinguishing between the types of decisions he or she has the power to make and other decisions.”
- National Aphasia Association- http://www.aphasia.org/naa_materials/aphasia_and_the_law.html
- Information regarding Americans with Disabilities Act- http://www.ada.gov/
- Power of Attorney- http://www.caregiverslibrary.org/Default.aspx?tabid=547