Recent reports on the deliberations of the Task Force on the Closure of State Developmental Centers are disturbing at best. The panel voted to keep the Vineland Developmental Center open, even though it is charged with an instance of medical neglect so severe that it resulted in the amputation of a patient’s arm. Instead it directed that the Woodbridge Developmental Center be closed although it provides an exemplary level of care. The decision was primarily based not on its effect on the patients but rather on the economic impact of the proposed closures. It was concluded that the loss of jobs in economically depressed Cumberland County would be harder than in Middlesex County. It is difficult for me to properly express my outrage at this process. The primary mission of the task force should be to protect the residents of the developmental centers. support the efforts of the families and workers to do what is necessary to advocate for those who are unable to do so for themselves. I again request that the decision to close the Woodbridge Developmental Center be reversed.
Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. represents the 18th Legislative District.