PR guru MICHAEL SANDS quit as the spokesman for Kevin Federline's lawyer this week (ends08Feb08) - because he's sick of attacking Britney Spears. Sands fears attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan has gone too far in his custody battle with Spears - and he felt he could no longer be part of team Federline. He explains, "This is overkill, it made my stomach turn. Every time we had to go into court, yes we have to protect the kids. But every mother, healthy or unhealthy should see their kids... You can't blame someone for mental illness. "Mark Vincent Kaplan needs to lay off. Everyone has to lay off before Britney dies accidentally." Sands urges Los Angeles authorities to put "bipolar Britney" in hospital "for a year" and let her see her kids. Thanks to Kaplan's efforts, Spears has been stripped of her custody and visitation rights to her kids by Federline. And he thinks it's time for Spears' ex to "step up to the plate" and stop hiding behind his attorney. Michael Sands, who severed ties with Mark Vincent Kaplan earlier this week (ends08Feb08), admits he's disturbed about Federline's reluctance to speak publicly about his ex-wife's health issues. Sands believes Federline is the best parent to govern the former couple's young sons, but the public relations expert would like to see Britney's ex speak out. He tells America's Life + Style magazine, "Kevin Federline needs to get on TV and say, 'I'm learning about Britney's bipolar disorder.' "He needs to step up to the plate and not hide behind the shield of his lawyer and be a man. He could become a hero instead of hiding... He's got to step up and help Britney."