Sound Off

I have a question regarding Robert Gilmore, the blind, mentally ill homeless man who's often seen downtown, wrapped in a blanket. An article in the Journal-World said he can't be put in a state hospital if he is not a danger to himself. Well, if somebody is legally blind and walks in the street, how is that not being a danger to yourself?

"Kansas law does allow a person to be involuntarily placed in a state hospital, but only under certain circumstances," said Bethany Fields, an attorney formerly with the Douglas County District Attorney's Office. "One of the main requirements is a showing of immediate danger." Still, there's a delicate balance, she said, between depriving a person of their liberty "for their own good" and protecting one's right to make decisions. Citing confidentiality issues, Fields declined earlier this month to comment on Gilmore's circumstances.


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