Center for Public Representation attorneys have contributed to the development of mental and physical disability law by publishing books and writing articles for scholarly and popular journals. Several of these published works have been favorably cited by courts in important opinions.

Guardianship and Conservatorship in Massachusetts, Second Edition
by John H. Cross, Robert D. Fleischner, Jinanne S.J. Elder

Black, red and gold book cover

Used by bench and bar, this complete practice manual covers the appointment of guardians and conservators of mentally disabled individuals and children. Learn the workings of the system – all the players, rules, and documents that are necessary to do your job well. Devise strategies guided by authors who have “been there” and understand the huge demands on your time. Learn, for example, how to persuade the court regarding difficult questions such as: a person’s right to die; whether to medicate for psychotic symptoms; whether to limit or expand a guardian’s powers; a ward’s right to vote; whether a mentally retarded woman can be sterilized; whether a child should be removed to the custody of the DSS. The material is updated by annual supplements.

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Unequal Rights : Discrimination Against People With Mental Disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act
by Susan Stefan, JD

white cover, red binding

This book features a unique survey compiled by the author that compellingly describes how people with mental disabilities experience discrimination. Stefan discovered two groups: Those who are part of the American mainstream and who report that people often refuse to believe their struggles, and those who are publicly identified as “mentally ill” and who are considered incapable of any type of achievement. The author persuasively argues that America’s current economic, legal, and social structures cannot accommodate the truth that mental disability is a continuing struggle that can – and often does – coexist with achievement and success. This bold and challenging book is an ideal resource for lawyers, people with mental disabilities, therapists, and anyone who seeks to understand the full impact of disability law.

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Hollow Promises : Employment Discrimination Against People With Mental Disabilities
by Susan Stefan, JD

Gray book cover with green spine

Although passed into law with high expectations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has mostly failed in enabling those with mental disabilities to fight discrimination in the workplace. In Hollow Promises, Susan Stefan explores the reasons for this failure and points to how the courts, government, and employers may finally make good on the ADA’s seemingly hollow promises. This book identifies the difficulties that people with mental disabilities may have in finding and keeping employment and how the ADA has affected this problem. Those with mental disabilities, like most people, want to work to support themselves and find respect and personal fulfillment. But because of deep-rooted prejudices against those with disabilities, obtaining and holding a job can be an epic task. Filled with detailed descriptions of employment cases and sharp analysis of the law, this provocative book is essential reading for lawyers, employers, therapists, people with mental disabilities, and all those seeking just employment practice.

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Emergency Department Treatment of the Psychiatric Patient: Policy Issues and Legal Requirements
by Susan Stefan, JD

Black and red book cover

Many hospital emergency departments are overcrowded and short-staffed, with a limited number of available hospital beds. It is increasingly hard for emergency departments and their staff to provide the necessary level of care for medical patients. Caring for people with psychiatric disabilities raises different issues and calls on different skills.

In Emergency Department Treatment of the Psychiatric Patient, Dr. Stefan uses research, surveys, and statutory and litigation materials to examine problems with emergency department care for clients with psychiatric disorders. She relies on interviews with emergency department nurses, doctors and psychiatrists, as well as surveys of people with psychiatric disabilities to present the perspectives of both the individuals seeking treatment, and those providing it.

This eye-opening book explores the structural pressures on emergency departments and identifies the burdens and conflicts that undermine their efforts to provide compassionate care to people in psychiatric crisis. In addition to presenting a new analysis of the source of these problems, Dr. Stefan also suggests an array of alternatives to emergency department treatment for people in psychiatric crisis. Moreover, the author proposes standards for treatment of these individuals when they do inevitably end up in a hospital emergency department.

Emergency Department Treatment of the Psychiatric Patient presents a thoughtful and thorough analysis of the difficulties faced by people with psychiatric disabilities when seeking emergency medical care. It is essential reading for anyone working in a hospital emergency department, as well as health care policy makers, and advocates and lawyers for people with psychiatric disabilities.

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