NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


November 2, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

CURRAN INVITES PUBLIC COMMENT ON DRAFT POLICY STUDY OF ALZHEIMERíS DISEASE

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. today invited the public to comment on several draft chapters of a major study of the legal and policy issues related to Alzheimerís disease. The draft report is intended to identify, and promote public discussion about, the main legal and policy issues that help create the environment in which Alzheimerís disease care is delivered.

The Attorney General began this project in April 2001. It is believed to be the first of its kind by an Attorney Generalís office. Curranís staff has reviewed the pertinent literature, interviewed experts, and met with those directly affected by this ailment.

Attorney General Curran invites members of the public to comment on the portion of the report, about half, that has now been drafted. The following draft chapters have been posted on the Attorney Generalís web site: Chapter 1, Alzheimerís Disease: Assessing Its Impact and Its Policy Environment; Chapter 2, Health Care Decisions: Patient Capacity and Proxy Decision Making; Chapter 4, Advance Planning: Health Care Choices and Research Participation; Chapter 9, Genetic Discrimination; and Chapter 10, The Driving Issue. Curran anticipates that, in approximately five weeks, drafts of the remaining chapters will be posted for comment. These will cover guardianship, advance planning for financial matters, the role of the state Medicaid program, health facility regulation, and abuse and financial exploitation.

"When we began this project we set out to learn how our laws and policies affect Alzheimerís disease patients, their families, and their professional caregivers," Attorney General Curran said. "Weíve come far enough so that we can begin to share our preliminary conclusions with the public and get valuable feedback."

The draft chapters are available at the following web page: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Healthpol/index.htm

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