On Tuesday, Governor Katie Hobbs signed Arizona State Rep. Alex Kolodin’s strike-everything amendment to SB 1291. The bill cracks down on medical kidnapping by dramatically increasing the evidentiary standard to obtain a guardianship.
The bill, which is the product of a collaboration between Kolodin, State Senator John Kavanagh, and their mutual constituent Sherry Lund, also requires that copies of prior healthcare powers of attorney signed by the patient be attached to any application for guardianship.
The problem of medical kidnapping, though longstanding, first gained widespread public attention during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
“My constituents sent me to the Capitol to fight for health freedom. Today, we delivered,” said Kolodin.
The grassroots effort was led by Lund, who was motivated to act after her family endured over a decade of emotionally devastating and extremely costly litigation in two states to prove her stepson, the grandson of Walt Disney, was competent and not in need of a guardian or conservator. Her experiences led her to found 5-14 Protecting Liberty, a grassroots organization dedicated to probate reform.
“The amount of money that was demanded to be paid by our family through the legal action to protect our son’s rightful inheritance was nothing short of extortion. Across our nation the courts, attorneys, and fiduciaries have developed a pattern and practice of abuse that protects their sources of financial gain, pulling it from private citizens and into their pockets. After what happened to our family, I could not sit by and watch as other Americans are abused by the system that was designed to protect them,” said Lund.
Leslie Manookian, president and founder of the Health Freedom Defense Fund, celebrated the enactment of SB 1291, saying, “It is terribly unfortunate that our medical system has evolved into a form that is at times hostile towards the patients it is intended to serve. This bill will ensure that the proper doctor-patient relationship remains intact.”