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Legal guardian sought for Washington, DC resident

Thankfully, most people rarely or never have to call 911 for a medical issue. Surprisingly, a woman that lives in Washington, DC has made use of the 911 system no less than 266 times in the last year. City officials have filed a petition to have a legal guardian appointed for the woman in an attempt to curb her use of that system.

The city hopes that a guardian will be able to assess the woman's living situation and suggest something that could work better for both the woman and Washington, DC 911 operators and emergency personnel. The city alleges that the 58-year-old woman suffers from a borderline personality disorder and is bipolar. The majority of the received calls relate to her frequent falls and fainting spells.

Nearly 60 percent of the woman's calls were from passersby that witness the woman falling. Records indicate that the woman refused to be taken to the hospital about 55 percent of the time. The woman is fighting the city's petition, hearings on which have been delayed until January after the woman undergoes a neuropsychological examination.

It is unfortunate that the city has to take such measures against one of its residents. However, it is possible that the appointment of a legal guardian could be the best way to protect the woman from herself. No one likes to admit that they need someone to take care of them and make decisions on their behalf. The loss of independence can be devastating, even when it is necessary. Hurting a person's pride may become less important than ensuring his or her safety, and filing a guardianship petition may be the best option for everyone concerned.

Source: abajournal.com, City seeks guardianship for 911 'super user', Debra Cassens Weiss, Nov. 12, 2013

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