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Subject:  Re: Greetings, my friends Date:  7/1/2004  10:10 AM
Author:  ValueSnark Number:  9241 of 23810

under libertarian law, a guardian could be appointed (even self-appointed) to oversee the welfare of an adult "nonrational person" (for lack of a better term), just as a parent has legal guardianship over his child.

What is the mechanism for this? My brother is bipolar, 35 years old, obviously an adult, pretty smart, has a job, but has the possibility of once in a while losing it for about 2 weeks at a time. WHO appoints me guardian? A court? A court is the likely appointor.

MUST my brother agree? What is the consequence to HIM if he does not agree? That is, what is his incentive to agree? What are my rights as guardian? You say to "help" him to remember to take his medication, but previously this thread has talked about bipolars often wanting to cut their medication down. Can I force him? What can I do to "help" him as a guardian which I could not do to "help" him as just his brother, or just a concerned citizen?

I'm not going to pretend that I know the answer to these outlier questions. What I am sure of is that in the overwhelming majority of cases, a satisfactory solution would be found to the benefit of all concerned. In those "hard" cases with no easy solutions, all I can say as a libertarian is to keep the State out of it. Why should millions of taxpayers be burdened to solve a few tough outlier cases?
There are some "crazy" people walking the streets of NYC, and I see them around. Occasionally they commit violence against innocent people, sometimes with tragic results, but most are harmless.
The few who aren't usually end up in prison or dead. No great loss in my decidedly non-bleeding heart view of the world.

I might love my brother. I might have him live with me. I might make drs appointments for him, go the store and get his medication, put his medication out for him in ways to make it seem like the most natural and pleasant thing in the world. But why would I as a rational independent adult ACCEPT responsibility for his crimes? And WHO would assign that blame to me? I expect I would REFUSE legal guardianship under such a situation. I would be happy to keep an informal relationship with my brother to help him, but I would seem to be an idiot if I allowed someone (I still don't know whom) to formalize this relationship in such a way that I took on a liability without a corresponding asset of some sort.

You have no legal obligation to be your brother's keeper, but neither do you have a right to prevent him from getting another guardian.
In a libertarian world, I can envision voluntary institutions funded by philanthropists that take in people who need this kind of help and attention. Some of them might even be able to work and contribute toward the cost of their upkeep.

P.S. I don't have a brother. A fils yes, but not a frere.

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