(405 ILCS 82/5)
The General Assembly finds all of the following:
(a) As a result of decades of significant under-funding of Illinois' developmental disabilities and mental health service delivery system, the quality of life of individuals with disabilities has been negatively impacted and, in an unacceptable number of instances, has resulted in serious health consequences and even death.
(b) In response to growing concern over the safety of the State-operated developmental disability facilities, following a series of resident deaths, the agency designated by the Governor pursuant to the Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act opened a systemic investigation to examine all such deaths for a period of time, including the death of a young man in his twenties, Brian Kent, on October 30, 2002, and released a public report, "Life and Death in State-Operated Developmental Disability Institutions," which included findings and recommendations aimed at preventing such tragedies in the future.
(c) The documentation of substandard medical care and treatment of individual residents living in the State-operated facilities cited in that report necessitate that the State of Illinois take immediate action to prevent further injuries and deaths.
(d) The agency designated by the Governor pursuant to the Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act has also reviewed conditions and deaths of individuals with disabilities living in or transferred to community-based facilities and found similar problems in some of those settings.
(e) The circumstances associated with deaths in both State-operated facilities and community-based facilities, and review of the State's investigations and findings regarding these incidents, demonstrate that the current federal and State oversight and investigatory systems are seriously under-funded.
(f) An effective mortality review process enables state service systems to focus on individual deaths and consider the broader issues, policies, and practices that may contribute to these tragedies. This critical information, when shared with public and private facilities, can help to reduce circumstances that place individuals at high risk of serious harm and even death.
(g) The purpose of this Act is to establish within the Department of Human Services a low-cost, volunteer-based mortality review process conducted by an independent team of experts that will enhance the health and safety of the individuals served by Illinois' developmental disability and mental health service delivery systems.
(h) This independent team of experts will be comparable to 2 existing types of oversight teams: the Abuse Prevention Review Team created under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Health, which examines deaths of individuals living in long-term care facilities, and Child Death Review Teams created under the jurisdiction of the Department of Children and Family Services, which reviews the deaths of children.
(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)