Preventing Abuse and Exploitation: A Personal Shift in Focus

Vol. 25 No. 4


Margaret K. Dore, JD, MBA, is an attorney in private practice in Washington State, where assisted suicide is legal. She is a former law clerk to the Washington State Supreme Court and the Washington State Court of Appeals. She worked for a year with the U.S. Department of Justice and is president of Choice Is an Illusion,, a nonprofit corporation opposed to assisted suicide and euthanasia.

I graduated from law school in 1986. I first worked for the courts and then for the U.S. Department of Justice. After that, I worked for other lawyers, and then, in 1994, I officially started my own practice in Washington State. Like many lawyers with a new practice, I signed up for court-appointed work in the guardianship/probate context. This was mostly guardian ad litem work. Once in a while, I was appointed as an attorney for a proposed ward, termed an “alleged incapacitated person.” In other states, a guardianship might be called a “conservatorship” or an “interdiction.” A guardian ad litem might be called a “court visitor.”

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