Here you can read the latest news regarding our campaign for Karina.
|Posted on February 27, 2015 at 9:25 AM|
On feb 27, 2015, another article was posted in EkstraBladet about Karina. Here is the translation.
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Their daughter was stolen two years ago: Help us, minister
What do you do when the system takes your daughter? Karina Hansen's parents are about to lose hope, and are asking minister Nick Hækkerup for help.
By. Thomas Harder
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byline: Per and Ketty are now fighting for the third year in a row to get their daughter released.
Two year ago - on 12.2.13 - a young woman, Karina Hansen, was forcefully committed to Hammel Neurocenter.
Karina suffers from a fatigue-syndrome, called ME. Karina was in her bed, when 5 police officers and 2 doctors came to pick her up.
Related: Excessive: 5 officers incarcerates 24 year old
(Our translation can be found by clicking here)
She was not insane, nor endangering herself or others, and the red or yellow papers needed for an incarceration, is missing.
No one can help - and the psychiatrists prohibits visitors.
This is how Bente Stenfalk starts a letter to Nationen!* about Karina Hansen, that has now been incarcerated for 14 and a half months. Bente is writing on behalf of Karina's parents, that have lost faith they will ever see their daughter again. Their lawyer has asked the minister of health, Nick Hækkerup, for help, and Bente is hoping her letter will help get the minister's attention. The letter continues:
(*Note from translator: Nationen is a part of the newspaper where readers get their letters published, among other things).
- No one can help Karina, because no one is allowed to speak to her about a power of attorney. The psychiatrists are prohibiting visitors. Where are Karina's legal rights?
Karina has been given a legal guardian, a retired police officer, who is not looking out for Karina's interests, but states that he trusts the psychiatrists...
Related: Doctor prohibits parents to see deathly pale daughter
(Our translation can be found by clicking here)
Everyone is covering each other's backs
The District Court have upheld a sentencing to keep the guardian, even though the ruling is full of contradictions, and the guardian wasn't even called as a witness, despite the family's lawyer having explicitly asked for this.
Denmark is a small country, where all the higher-ups knows each other, where judges, doctors Regional Chiefs and psychiatrists are friends outside of work.
Ministry officials and members of the Tryg Foundation do ALL have interests in this case, as it involves prestige and huge amounts of money.
Karina has become a pawn
Karina has become a pawn in this game, but the "attempt" failed. Karina has not gotten better, quite the opposite in fact. She has been moved to a home facility for the brain damaged, where she is still not allowed visitors.
Lawyer Jakob Skjoldan, who has been involved in this case for some time, wrote to the health Committee in July, but has not received a reply. Now he has written the minister, Nick Hækkeerup, personally. He can interfere in the case if he wants to.
That is something the family and many others are hoping he will do. It is apparently the only way to get this deadlocked and distressing case to end, writes Bente Stenfalk.
What do you think? Will Nick Hækkerup interfere?
|Posted on February 11, 2015 at 11:10 PM|
Lies and Broken Laws – the case of Karina Hansen
Two years ago today, the severely-ill ME patient Karina Hansen was forcibly removed from her home, committed to a hospital and denied visitors. For 2 years she has been held against her will and forced to undergo experimental treatment that is proven to harm ME patients . Karina is still not allowed to see her parents. The psychiatrists in charge of these forced research treatments, Nils Balle Christensen and Per Fink now claim that Karina went into the hospital voluntarily, but the paperwork in the case proves their lie.
Jakob Skjoldan, a Danish lawyer, believes that many laws have been broken in this case and has written to the Danish Minister of Health listing some of these violations and asking him to look into the case. The letter will be posted in English when a translation is available.
This case is a tragic example of how ignorance about ME can lead to abuse of patients. ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) is not a psychiatric illness. It is a neuroimmune illness in which every system in the body is affected. Among other things, ME patients have an energy-production dysfunction that makes them intolerant of any form of exertion. This was stated very clearly by the Institute of Medicine in a report they released on Feb. 10, 2015 . Severely-ill patients are also sensitive to sound, light and touch. Overstimulation of any kind can cause severe worsening of their illness.
However, Christensen and Fink refused to believe that ME patients can be as severely ill as Karina is. They did not believe that exercise and other forms of stimulation could make her worse. They doubted she had ME. They chose to misinterpret her symptoms as signs of physical and psychological neglect from her parents.
Two reports that have recently come to light show that the Danish Board of Health became convinced that if Karina was removed from her parents, Christensen and Fink could cure her. It was claimed that it was highly likely that Karina’s parents were holding her at home against her will and that the treatments they were giving her were damaging her. No evidence of these outrageous allegations has ever come to light and no charges have ever been filed against her family, as they surely would have been if Karina’s parents had neglected or abused her. Karina’s parents were treating her severe ME after the advice of ME experts. The ME experts’ approach to severe ME is recommended by the NICE guidelines which the Danish Board of Health has repeatedly said it supports.
Christensen and Fink claimed that they could cure Karina, but needed at least 3 months of isolation from her parents in order to do this. Karina’s parents have not seen her in 2 years, and yet Karina is sicker than before she was committed.
When Karina was taken, she was capable of using a mobile phone and she could speak in full sentences. The day after she was taken, she called the police. She called her mother and asked how she could get out of the hospital. During the first few months in the hospital she would tell her nurses, “You are killing me!” while they were forcing treatment on her. She kept asking to go home.
Today Karina cannot speak in sentences or hold a conversation. She has been moved to a home for brain-damaged patients. She sits in a wheelchair, makes facial grimaces and mumbles to herself. She is thin and pale. She is still not allowed to see her parents. At a symposium in May 2014, it was claimed that Fink had performed a miracle with Karina. It is true she no longer fights her nurses, but I see no miracle cure here.
Clearly, Christensen and Fink’s hypotheses about the cause of Karina’s illness has been proven wrong, so it is high time that Karina be allowed a second opinion by an internationally-respected ME expert. Karina’s guardian, Kaj Stendorf, has the power to make this happen. I implore you Mr. Stendorf – do your job!
How much longer must ME patients suffer because of willful ignorance about their disease?
Chairman, ME Association, Denmark
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53587/#ch7.s1 reference 50: Crowhurst G. Supporting people with severe myalgic encephalomyelitis. ] Nursing Standard. 1921 [PubMed] http://me-foreningen.com/…/Crowhurst-Severely-affected-i-Nu…;
|Posted on July 28, 2014 at 12:00 AM|
Jakob Skjoldan, a lawyer who has taken up volunteer work with some of the patient organisations affected by the annexing to Functional Disorders, have written this letter to the §71-comitee who oversees forceful hospitalisations in Denmark, and the Parliamentary Health Board.
We were sent a translation of this letter, wich we are grateful for. However, the translation had some mistakes wich we had to weed out, and therefor we were not able to publish sooner. Please make no mistake about our gratitude for the help recieved, though.
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The §71 Committee xx.07.2014
Attn: Chairman Liselott Blixt and
The Parliamentary Health Board
Attn: Chairman Karen Klint
Regarding Karina Hansen’s incarceration at Hammel Neurocenter
I hereby address the §71 Committee on behalf of Karina's parents Ketty and Per Hansen, and on behalf of the ME Association Denmark, because we are aware that the §71 Committee recently visited Karina at Hammel Neurocenter.
I assume that the §71 Committee received a report on Karina's treatment from the Neurocenter, including the report from Chief of Psychiatry, Niels Balle Christensen (NBC) from the Research Clinic for Functional Disorders (RCFD/FFL), the physician who is responsible for the treatment of Karina.
(Translator note: In danish this is known as Forskningsklinikken for Funksjonelle Lidelser, shortened to FFL and I will use FFL from hereon, to be consistent).
I will hereby explain how specialists with expertise in post-viral fatigue syndrome (ME) estimate Karina's disease.
Initially, however, I provide the following general information about ME:
ME = Myalgic Encephalomyelitis; (myalgia = muscle pain; encephalomyelitis = spinal cord and brain inflammation/infection) is a serious somatic disease with profound effects on the nerve system, the endocrine system, the immune system, the energy metabolism at the cellular level and the body circuit.
For most patients, the disease starts with a simple infection, for example associated with mononucleosis or the flu, but the disease is also suspected to be caused by mold, blood transfusions, vaccinations, whiplash, heavy metal poisoning and borrelia infections.
The main symptom is a marked rapid fatigability during physical and mental activity, followed by flu-like and pain-related symptoms and a worsening of other symptoms mentioned below. Activity also leads to an abnormal exhaustion and a prolonged recovery period, wich is why the patient's previous level of activity is significantly reduced. A distinction is made between mild reduction (about 50%), moderate reduction (mostly housebound), severe reduction (mostly bedridden) and very severe reduction (bedridden and in need of assistance with basic functions).
The very severely ill patients may be bedridden in a darkened, soundproofed room and cannot tolerate the slightest physical or mental exertion. The Belgian professor DeMeirleir (who was one of the below mentioned 26 leading practitioners/researchers in the world, and who among other things treat Danish ME patients who aren't getting help in the Danish health system) have stated that very severely ill ME patients "must be chained to the bed." This Belgian professor has actually succeeded in significally improving the health of many severely ill ME patients.
Other serious symptoms are:
I Neurological Damage:
1. Cognitive Problems.
a, Hassled information management, including impaired thinking, poor concentration, confusion, disorientation, indecisiveness, slow speech.
b. Short-term memory loss.
a. Headaches: chronic, generalized headaches often with pain in the eyes, behind the eyes or in the back of the head, which can be associated with neck pain; migraine; tension headaches.
b. Significant pain in the muscles, muscle attachments, limbs, abdomen and chest.
3. Sleep Disorders.
a. Disrupted sleep patterns, including insomnia, prolonged sleep, incl. naps, sleep during the day and awake at night, frequent awakening, awakening much earlier than before illness, vivid dreams/ nightmares.
b. "unrefreshed" sleep, including feelings of exhaustion regardless of duration of sleep, sleepiness at daytime.
4. Sensory and motoric disturbances.
a. Sensory disturbances, including inability to focus visually, sensitivity to light, noise, vibration, smell, taste and touch.
b. Motoric disturbances, including muscle weakness, involuntary muscle contractions, poor coordination, unsteadiness.
II. Problems with the immune system, digestive system and urination
1. Recurrent or chronic flu-like symptoms, which typically originates or is aggravated by activity, including sore throat, sinusitis, swollen or tender lymph nodes
2. Vulnerability to viral infections with prolonged recovery time.
3. Gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, stomach pain, swollen abdomen, irritable bowel syndrome.
4- Urinary problems, including sudden or frequent need to urinate; night urination.
5. Sensitivity to food, medications, odors and chemicals
III. Damage to the energy system
1. Circulatory disorders, including intolerance to sit upright, palpitations with or without cardiac problems, dizziness
2. Respiratory problems, including breathlessness, labored breathing, fatigue of chest muscles.
3. Loss of temperature stability, including abnormally low body temperature, significant diurnal temperature change; sweating, recurrent feelings of fever with or without slight rise in temperature, cold hands and feet.
4. Intolerance to extreme temperatures.
The disease is internationally acknowledged and has the code G93.3 in the WHO disease registry (ICD-10).
By the definition of the disease, it explicitly states that there should be no mental reason for the fatigue condition or other symptoms of the disease. The disease is therefor, by definition, not a mental illness.
Source: Consensus document prepared in 2011 by a panel of the world's leading ME practitioners/ researchers (26 practitioners / researchers with total approx. 400 years of clinical and teaching experience).
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After this initial information about the disease ME, I enclose a copy of the journal from 18.02.2010 to May 2012 from a specialist in internal medicine and infectious medicine, dr. med. Henrik Isager (HI), DMSc, who was (he is now retired), one of the few Danish specialists with expertise in ME.
At the journals page 3, below, it is apparent that HI does not doubt that Karina is suffering from ME/CFS (WHO diagnostic code G93.3), that the disease was triggered by a mononucleosis infection in 2004 and that Karina is now (in 2010) is very severely sick from ME with a minimum of energy reserves.
In the journal's pages 4 and 5, it is further described what the physical causes of the disease is, like it is described how the very painful condition of the disease can be alleviated.
It is, however, acknowledged at the bottom of page 4 that the disease is permanent, ie. Incurable.
I attach further medical reports of 18.03.2011 and 01.09.2011 from the Norwegian physician and ME expert Mette Sophie Johnsgaard and a copy of a letter from 06.03.2013 from the same doctor. This Norwegian expert agrees that Karina is suffering from very severe ME and warns in her letter of 06.03.2013 (sent after the forced hospitalization) strongly against the stress, which a forced hospitalization causes.
The Neurocenter and NBC's view of Karina's disease is to the best of our knowledge in clear contradiction to HI's and Johnsgaard’s diagnoses. It appears that NBC perceives Karina's disease as a Functional Disorder, thus meaning that Karina’s serious condition really is mentally anchored (psychosomatic/somatoform). Thus, NBC have given Karina the diagnosis of "Other Somatoform Disorder" shortly after Karina's forced hospitalization at the Neurocenter in February 2013.
Subsequently (during Summer 2013) NBC shall have given Karina the very rare psychiatric diagnosis "Pervasive Arousal Withdrawal Syndrome" (PAWS). There are doubts about the extent to which this diagnosis is acknowledged, as it has no WHO code, and because it has only been used a few times, mostly on children in refugee camps. This mental disorder is characterised by the childs refusal to talk, walk, eat, care to its hygiene, etc. and angrily reject any contact with the outside world, including refusing any offer of help and treatment.
The diagnosis can not be applied to adults. Karina is now 25 years old! Karina has never before the forced hospitalization refused to talk, walk, eat or take care of her hygiene. On the contrary, she has cooperated to offers of help and treatment. (At one point, she could not walk or take care of her hygiene anymore, but she was still cooperative).
As seen above, there are basic medical disagreements about the cause of Karina's very bad health condition. The Karina Case is a glaring example of what happens when one in Denmark largely ignores a number of well-defined diseases with independent codes in the WHO register ICD-10, and instead call these diseases for Functional Disorders. Please refer to the many critical questions that members of the Parliamentary Health Committee asked during the recently held Consultation with the Minister of Health.
It seems, from a proper assessment, difficult to give credence to NBC's diagnoses since FFL never have presented medical evidence that ME (and the other 22 recognized illnesses that FFL has annexed under the research-diagnosis of Functional Disorders) are psychosomatic/somatoform disorders, whereas ME as mentioned, has been an internationally recognized, somatic illness for a long time (since 1969) and has been listed in the WHO disease registry.
Furthermore, I would like you to please note that psychiatrists have examined Karina several times in the past, without giving her a psychiatric diagnosis.
The first time a psychiatrist examined Karina, was in early 2007 and was done by Ole Nielsen in Holstebro. The Psychiatrist writes in a journal dated 13.02.2007, wich includes the following:
"... I do not think there are any signs of depression or atypical depression, and there are no other symptoms, indicating that there should be a more virulent psychiatric disorder under construction. She keeps good contact, but is just extremely tired and has a headache .... "
The second time, Karina was examined by NBC himself, in the spring of 2008. NBC wrote a journal on 09.04.2008:
19-year-old girl with age-appropriate looks. Awake, clear, comprehensive and relevant. She appears in no way as deeply depressed. She appears neither with anything productively psychotic. She is a bit quiet, but mostly relaxed in the evaluation-situation, and gives me good contact, both formal and emotionally. She is not affected by any severe disturbances in her character structure. She has subtle evasive moves as the only one. There is no anxiety problems and no depressive symptoms besides an understandable sadness about the situation. The symptoms seem ego dystonic and there is a clear distance from them.
/ F45.3 somatoform autonomic dysfunction obs pro. /
19-year-old girl with vague predisposition to depression. Evaluated for chronic fatigue. So far there is no positive signs of a somatic disease. If all tests prove to be negative, there is a high probability that she is developing a somatoform condition, which she is informed about. In this case, I would suggest treatment with Cymbalta capsule starting with 30mg in the morning taken to the morning meal, increasing to 60mg in the morning after a week. In addition, cognitive symptom management by a cognitive informed and trained pain psychologist. Furthermore, currently recommended to continue the already agreed exercise program and exercises. She has been explained the link between bodily sensations and psyche. For further ambiguity, new supervisory can be obtained.
Niels Balle Christensen"
As this shows, psychiatrist Ole Nielsen and NBC agreed that there was no symptoms of depression or any severe psychiatric disorders (psychosis). NBC thought that Karina, if there were no signs of somatic disease, could be developing a somatoform condition and suggested in this case treatment with antidepressant Cymbalta. However, Karina was subsequently diagnosed by HI and Johnsgaard with the somatic disease ME (which NBC is fully aware of, see below), and it seems incomprehensible that NBC ignore these diagnoses, especially when NBC has publicly stated that he cooperates with HI on ME patients.
NBC's position seems even harder to understand in the light that he, on 27.9.2012 in a letter to the Rehabilitation Centre Holstebro, diagnosed her with G93.3 ME/CFS (which must have been a reference to HI's above journal). NBC gave admittedly at the same time also the diagnosis F48.0 Neurasthenia. This disease is a mental (functional) disorder, but it is surprising how NBC can make a mental diagnosis at a time when he has not examined or even talked to Karina (since spring 2008, see above).
NBC should otherwise not even have knowledge of PAWS, beyond what he read in the psychiatric literature, and therefore he has only made the diagnosis after consulting with British psychiatrists, including the controversial psychiatrist Peter White, who some years ago was the cause of an international conflict between the WHO and the United Kingdom, because he wanted to make ME into a psychiatric disorder. NBC is, nevertheless, very confident that he can cure Karina for the alleged mental disorders and therefore also for her serious physical problems/symptoms. These data was provided by NBC on a meeting with Karina's next-of-kin in August 2013.
Thus, there is considerable doubts about whether Karina is insane (PAWS).
If Karina should be insane at this point, it should be concluded that it happened after the forced hospitalization, since all medical examinations, including NBC ‘s own, shows that she was not insane before the forced hospitalization.
It may, in this context, be feared that the below-described isolation of Karina from her relatives has damaged her psychologically. It is generally known that a significant part of insulated imprisoned criminals develop mental disorders after only a few months of solitary confinement.
As far as we know, NBS treats Karina as every other patient with a functional disorders, that is to say like if she has depression. That means Graded Excersise Therapy (rehabilitation), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and possibly antidepressants.
If NBC's diagnosis is wrong, this treatment can have fatal consequences for Karina;
Graded Excercise Therapy /rehabilitation for patients who suffer from severe ME, can worsen the condition and is at worst life threatening. Please refer to HI's journal, middle of page 4, where he explain this, and where references is made to the above-quoted Belgian professor.
Forced exercise and lack of medical knowledge about ME, must in general be regarded as the main reason that Karina’s condition has become so bad.
The disease’s triggering factor, as previously mentioned, is presumed to have been a mononucleosis infection in 2004. This infection was first recognized in 2005 and therefore it was not treated effectively. The symptoms of ME (including additional infections, stomach problems, and above all an overwhelming fatigue), which appeared in the years after mononucleosis infection, was not diagnosed properly by any doctor, but they all encouraged Karina to excersise and otherwise stay active, and this advice has very likely have continuously deteriorated Karina's health.
First in early 2008, doctors tenttatively diagnosed Karina (at an arthritis hospital in Gråsten) with ME and diagnostic code G93.3. Karina's parents were however not made aware of wich disease they suspected. Furthermore, both the arthritis hospital and Karina's doctor at the time, stated that it was important that she was more physically active and possibly even be pressured to be so!
First in 2009 were Karina's parents informed that Karina could suffer from ME, suggested by a family member, and then confirmed by Chief Physician Valerius from Hvidovre Hospital, and later followed up with HI's thorough examination and diagnosis in early 2010, see above.
Please also refer to HI's journal, middle of page 13, where Karina's condition was estimated to be life threatening, after she had gotten significantly worse in connection with the New Year Fireworks at the turn of 2011/2012.
However you should be made aware that Karina got better from the summer of 2012, and that she in February 2013, when she was involuntarily committed, still felt better than the year before!
It is not known, if NBC has given Karina antidepressants, but if this were the case, it would be very dangerous as ME patients usually do not tolerate that kind of medicine, see above. In Karina’s case there has previously been three significant deteriorations of her condition, respectively, after the application of anesthesia in connection with a gallstone operation, by an influenza vaccination and at a (tentatively) previous treatment with antidepressants (by above-mentioned psychiatrist Ole Nielsen).
Karina has also, according to information from the Neurocenter, clearly resisted the treatment with antidepressants, and the parents has warned the Neurocenter against antidepressants and similar drugs.
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Since there is considerable doubt whether NBC's diagnosis and treatments are correct, the §71 Commitee are encouraged to recommend The Neurocenter to let Karina be examined by an independent, foreign expert in ME, as well as making an analysis of blood samples, etc. from Karina, so it once and for all can be determined whether Karina suffers from a serious physical illness or if her troubles s are psychosomatic.
The §71 Committee is further encouraged to recommend the Neurocenter to get a second opinion from an independent specialist in psychiatry (not affiliated with FFL) , who are familiar with the symptoms of ME, especially the cognitive problems as described above, so it can be assessed if Karina now suffers from a rare (questionable?) psychiatric disorder, like NBC claims.
It is also reported that the Neurocenter, ever since the forced hospitalization of Karina in February 2013, has consistently denied Karina's parents access to visit Karina. The refusal is formally justified by the fact Karina has not authorized it, but the cause may indeed be found in the fact that the parents are highly critical of NBC's psychiatric diagnosis.
Karina is therefore de facto treated as a solitary confinement criminal, although her only "crime" is that she has sustained a very serious disease. It should be pointed out that Karina several times before the forced hospitalization expressly objected to be removed from her home, and that she, according to the Neurocenter's own data after the forced hospitalization, have both verbally and physically attempted to resist treatment.
The §71 Committee are therefore encouraged to further recommend to The Neurocenter, that Karina's parents and siblings are allowed to visit her.
I enclose a copy of Karina's parents comment on the matter dated 20.05.2014.
I am aware that The §71 Committee can not rule on the question of the legality of Karina's forced hospitalization, which is why I below outline the issue for the Parliamentary Health Committee as given this aspect of the case, it can hardly be ignored when considering the purely medical questions in the case
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The legality of the forced hospitalization
In May 2010, Karina's former doctor forced Karina to be hopsitalized on a neuroligcal ward. At the hospital Karina's condition worsened because the staff did not know how a severely ill ME patient should be treated. Nevertheless, the doctors examined whether there was an opportunity to compulsory detain Karina according to the Mental Health Act (Act on the Use of Force in Psychiatry). However, this was abandoned when Karina (according to the Medical Officer, Børge Sommer) was "not considered depressive or psychotic."
Karina was therefore, at her own request, sent home again after 3 days of hospitalization. After this experience, Karina was determined to never be treated in a hospital again.
In mid-May 2011, the special consultant Jytte Dahler-Larsen, staff physician Lars Kabel Kristensen and both the public health officers of Mid Jutland paid a forewarned supervisory visit to Karina, at the request of Holstebro Municipality. Prior to the visit, the two officers examined Karina's extensive medical records, including the above records (the first) from HI and Johnsgaard.
During the visit, the public health officers spoke with Karina in private and then with the relatives, after which they concluded that there was found no discrepancy between the written material (Karina's records) and what was communicated during the visit.
About the conversation with Karina the following is reported:
"Karina appears clear, alert and oriented. She seems immediately mentally inconspicuous. She is considered to be well informed about her situation and she agrees with the "alternative" or "complementary" way to cope with the illness. She's crying when she informs us that she would very much like to participate in rehabilitation, but that she cannot manage anything because of extreme fatigue, extreme fatigability and activity-induced pain. She hopes that maximum relief in the long term will allow for spontaneous improvement of the disease.
She has thus given informed consent to the omission of conventional medical treatment in, favor of an "alternative" or "complementary" medical treatment."
Late in March 2012 the staff physician Lars Kabel Kristensen asked the family for permission to carry out a control visit to Karina, preferably together with her own physician and HI.
The visit was scheduled for 11.04.2012, but a few days earlier the meeting was canceled by Lars Kabel Kristensen, apparently under orders from "a higher place" (probably from the The Health Board). Please refer to HI's aforementioned journal, page 14 above.
In the spring of 2012, The Health Board intervened in this case because the public health officer Lars Kabel Kristensen urged Karina's doctor at the time, Lotte Jacobsen, to contact lawyer H. Christensen at the Health Board. The lawyer instructed Lotte Jacobsen to inspect Karina together with a psychiatrist. in order to decide whether Karina could be compulsory treated. Lotte Jacobsen was in this context also asked to speak to psychiatrist Jens Nørbak from the Liaison clinic at Bispebjerg Hospital (FFLs office in Copenhagen), whos psychiatrist apparently advised the Board of Health. Psychiatrist Jens Nørbak thought (without having examined or even seen Karina) that she could be (forcibly) hospitalized in "red papers" (ie, she should be insane or in a very similar condition and either a danger to herself (suicidal) or to others!?, in accordance with the Psychiatry Law § 5).
Lotte Jacobsen however, presented this evaluation for a local psychiatrist who believed that a maximum of "yellow compulsion" could be made, ie. if Karina was insane, and it was considered essential to her health.
Then Lotte Jacobsen contacted chief physician Lena Graversen at the Health Board and announced that she would not participate anymore.
The Health Board did apparently not accept this, as the lawyer H. Christensen contacted Lotte Jacobsen and informed her that she was legally obliged to promptly examine Karina together with a psychiatrist (professor and specialist in psychiatry, Per Fink, who is head of the FFL clinic in Aarhus, shall have been sugeested).
Lotte Jacobsen however,argued that it is hardly possible to get hold of a psychiatrist at such short notice, so it is agreed that she should get hold of a prehospital doctor, after which they had to pay an unannounced visit to Karina.
This happened on 03.05.2012, where the two doctors - after having studied and spoken with Karina, who unequivocally opposed the hospitalization - agreed that the terms of forced hospitalization was not present. Karina was in this event described as "awake, alert, without symptoms of hallucinations."
This course of events arose from physician Lotte Jacobsen's records, as summarized by HI in his above journal, page middle of page 15 to middle of page 16.
After the failed attempt to get Karina coersively committed in May 2012, Karina's parents were contacted during the summer of 2012 by NBC from the FFL. NBC informed the parents that he came as a physician and not as a psychiatrist, that he was the leader of the FFL-established Research Centre for ME/CFS and that he was very interested in treating Karina. NBC pointed out that Karina of course were free to decide whether she would submit to his treatment.
At the first meeting with the parents NBC came together with HI, and expressed that he would cooperate with HI about the treatment of Karina and other ME sufferers.
Neither Karina nor the parents however, had an interest in Karina being hospitalized again , and they were also uneased about the fact that NBC was not very eager to tell what the treatment plan was.
NBC tried several times at meetings with Karina's parents and by telephone conversations with respectively Karina's mother and Karina's sister (who is a nurse) to persuade the family (the parents had general power of attorney from Karina, to care for her interests during the disease) to let Karina be hospitalized, but without any luck.
In this process, NBC neither examined nor spoke to Karina. The closest he came to her, was when he during one of the meetings with the parents stood just inside the door in her bedroom and overheard that she, with a weak voice, said she was too tired to talk to him.
In the late summer of 2012, NBC apparently abandoned getting Karina under his treatment.
Hereafter Karina was cared for by her parents, in collaboration with a physician from Copenhagen, which they themselves had to pay for (after Lotte Jacobsen's resignation as a physician, as mentioned above, there were no local doctors who would take on the task!?).
Until 12.02.2013 Karina was only seen by the Copenhagen doctor. On 12.02.2013, 5 police officers, 2 doctors and 2 employees from the Holstebro Municipality,, arrived unannounced on the parents address (and hidden around the corner, a locksmith was waiting, as well as a manned ambulance).
The doctors went to Karina's bedroom while the police officers prevented the mother and father, who arrived later, to see what was going on.
This resulted in Karina being removed from her bed, and commited at Hammel Neurocenter, which happened against Karina's (and the parents) will. Karina, who had long been too weak to use her mobile phone, called during the process to her father (who was at work when the authority officials came), to her mother, to her sister and to her cousin. And the day after, from the Neurocenter, again to her mother and eventually the police! All in a desperate attempt to resist forced hospitalization. She said to her mother; "Mom, how do I get out of here? I can't take this."
Subsequently, it has been very difficult to get an official explanation of the foundation of the forced hospitalization. The authorities refused to recognize the parents’ general power of attorney, and thus avoided giving details of the case on grounds of professional secrecy. This was also the case in regards to the lawyer, who Karina had hired as early as 2012 when forced hospitalization first came up, see above.
The situation was further locked from the end of May 2013, when the State Administration appointed a guardian for Karina. Now the authorities can refuse all requests for access, citing the confidentiality, which is administered by the guardian. The guardian apparently has the view that the he cannot question the information he gets from the Neurocenter and NBC, so there is no help from him.
However, it has come to light that the forced hospitalization should have been based on the Law Of Nescessity rule in the Penal Code §14. This is stated by Chief Physician at Hammel, Merete Stubkjær, on a meeting with the family in august 2013, and have anonymously been confirmed by healthboard officals to the newspaper BT.
The Penal Code §14 says that
an act that would normally constitute a criminal offense, is not punishable if the act was necessary to help prevent imminent harm to persons or goods, and the offense is deemed to be of relatively minor importance.
The authorities' view, may have therefore been that forced hospitalization of Karina was not punishable at the time it happened, to avert threatening injuries (on Karina herself). The authorities must further have considered that the offense (forced hospitalization) was of relatively minor importance!?
The authorities useage of Penal Code §14 as a foundation for the forced hopsitalisation may be considered to be due to a severe misunderstanding of the law:
The question of when forced hospitalization of sick people can legally happen is exhaustively regulated by the Mental Health Act, where Act §5 can be described as a special emergency rule related to mentally ill people. These can only be committed if they are insane or in a very similar condition, and if it further is essential for their health (on yellow paper, see above), or if the person is a danger to themselves or others (red papers, see above). These conditions apply, according to the Mental Health Act §13, also to the people who are prefered to be involuntarily committed for treatment of physical illness.
Sick people can therefore only be legally committed to the hospital, if the provisions of the Mental Health Act, especially when emergency legal provision §5 are met. There is no place for the general emergency rule in the Penal Code §14, in the case of coercion against sick people.
As mentioned above, it is twice previously found that the Mental Health Act rules for forced hospitalization could not be applied to Karina's case, simply because she was not insane nor in a very similar condition.
This seems to be further supported by the above-cited records from Psychiatrist Ole Nielsen and NBC.
This is also supported by the fact that NBC, shortly after the forced hospitalization, shall explicitly have stated that Karina was not psychotic (insane).
During the forced commitment on 12.02.2013, it also does not appear to have been any attempts to use the Mental Health Act rules, as, among other things, it was not attempted to get Karina’s prior consent to being admitted to a hospital, or to agree to treatment, as is recommended under these rules. Nor does it seem that there were prospects of an improvement of her health status, as defined under paragraph 3. There also should have been a medical examination of Karina as a preparation for the forced commitment within 7 days prior to the decision to commit her and this was not done. Also the police made a decision about implementing the forced hospitalization under paragraph §7, but she was not hospitalized at a psychiatric hospital or unit, as is defined under §7, and therefore a "second opinion" could not have been made by the psychiatric chief physician at the admission location, as stated by §9 part 2, since such a chief physician was not available at the Neurocenter.
Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that the Mental Health Act provisions on the appointment of a patient advisor has been respected. The Patient adviisor shouldm as soon as possible, be appointed by the head nurse, and the adviser must then, within 24 hours from the appointment, visit the involuntarily hospitalized patient and among other things assist them with iinitiating and mplementing complaints about the forced hospitalization, as defined under § § 24-26.
It does not, however, appear that a patient adviser has been appointed and visited Karina shortly after the forced hospitalization, as we could assume that Karina would have complained about the hospitalisation in accordance with Karina's above-mentioned call to her mother the day after hospitalisation, where she explicitly asks how she can get away from the Neurocenter.
It can therefor be concluded that the forced hospitalization on 12.02.2013 was clearly illegal.
Besides the fact that Karina thus is illegally incarcerated under prison-like solitary confinement, she is also continually exposed to unlawful coercion and experimental treatment.
The Neurocenter has, as mentioned earlier, stated that Karina both verbally and physically have resisted treatment. Verbally, she has clearly, on several occasions, said "You are killing me." This was told by Chief Physician Jens Gyring at the Neurocenter on a meeting with the parents in May 2013. The Chief Physician supposedly said this because he wanted to convince the parents that Karina still could speak! (Which she was not able to, when her sister briefly saw her some months after the forced hospitalization).
It is also stated by the Neurocenter that Karina has resisted treatment by crying, scratching and turning her back to the staff. Karina has also, according to the information, cried so much that the Neurocenter kept her under video surveillance for a while (presumably because she was considered suicidal).
Thus there is no doubt that Karina has been forcefully treatedt, which is illegal according to the Mental Health Act §12, when the terms of the Act, §5 are not met.
Furthermore, Karina have been experimentally treated, as there is no medical evidence that severely ill ME patients can be treated as if they have a depression, with graded exercise, cognitive therapy and antidepressants. On the contrary, doctors specializing in ME thinks that this treatment can be very harmful to these ME patients, see above.
Experimental treatment on the involuteerly committed are banned under the Mental Health Act §23
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As mentioned, it has been very difficult for Karina's parents and lawyers to get information on the reasons for the involuntary commitment.
But it appears that the incarceration is done in collaboration between Holstebro Municipality, Region Mid Jutland, FFL with professor and specialist Per Fink in charge, The National Board Of Health, The Police and The Health Minister.
Executive of Region Mid Jutland, Ole Thomsen, gave a speech at a Symposium on Functional Disorders, on the occasion of Professor Per Fink's 60th birthday recently, where the following information about Karinas case was stated:
".... I have also seen you take chances. A year ago, you took a chance with Hammel Neurocenter whom is also present here today. Should you take a very private matter in the western part of the country, should you save a young woman's life .. Dare we do that? With the help of the police and the Health Minister, you dared to do it. Maybe that is why there are protesters outside the auditorium today. It is perhaps for that reason alone, the case which annoyed a very small part of the population; you took this step to save this young woman's life ... "
It thus appears that Professor Per Fink is one of the main perpetrators of the forced hospitalization, and that he has received help from the Minister of Health (Astrid Kragh). In this connection, it should be noted that the Neurocenter also reported that the Health Minister approved the forced hospitalization.
It is very puzzling that the former Minister of Health, the National Board Of Health, Region Mid Jutland and FFL with Professor Per Fink in charge, have engaged so strongly in this case.
The normal procedure would be that it was the local authorities and doctors who took decisions about a forced hospitalization, after carefully having followed the procedures prescribed in the Mental Health Act.
Then, one would expect that The Health Board and/or the Ministry of Health intervened if some irregularities in the procedure were found. In this case, it has been just the opposite:
The local doctors have repeatedly held that the conditions for compulsory admission was not present, and then the overall health authorities along with the FFL and the police carry out a clearly illegal forced hospitalization.
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The case raises the following questions to the Minister of Health:
1. Can you confirm that the former health minister, Astrid Kragh, approved the forced hospitalization of Karina?
2. Can you confirm that Karina is involuntarily committed according to the emergency legal rule in the Penal Code §14?
3. If so, does the Health Minister agree that the forced hospitalization is clearly illegal?
4. If so, will the Health Minister make sure that Karina is immediately released from the Hammel Neurocenter?
I would like to hear more at your earliest convenience.
|Posted on February 5, 2014 at 3:15 PM|
Vi skriver til dig, fordi vi er bekymrede for Karina Hansen. Vi er blevet oplyst om, at du er blevet udnævnt som værge for Karina Hansen og at hendes forældre har skrevet til dig med forespørgsel om, at hun får tilladelse til en ’second opinion’ fra en international ME-ekspert, Dr. Nigel Speight. Vi anmoder respektfult om, at du giver tilladelse til, at Karina Hansen bliver tilset af denne ekspert indenfor rimelig tid. Vi tror, at denne unge kvindes livskvalitet, og muligvis hendes liv, hviler på denne beslutning.
Vi forstår, at dét at blive udnævnt som værge for nogen med en så kompliceret sygdom kan være en vanskelig opgave. Vi har taget os tid til at undersøge nogle emner som er relevante for denne situation, og som kan være til nytte for dig når du skal tage stilling til denne situation.
1. Karina har ret til at få en ’second opinion’. Vi forstår det sådan, at man i Danmark har retten til en Second Opinion i sager som er alvorlige eller livstruende. Vi ved, at Karinas situation er alvorlig, da dette er klart bevist ved hendes symptomer og livskvalitet. (For at lære mere om svært syge ME patienter, besøg venligst http://www.stonebird.co.uk/symptoms.html Vi mener også, at hendes tilstand er livstruende. Sophia Mirza er et eksempel på en person som døde af ME efter fejlbehandling. Du kan læse mere om hende her: http://www.sophiaandme.org.uk/. Vi er vældige bange for, at hvis du ikke griber denne mulighed til at lade Karina blive tilset af eksperter, så vil hun møde en lignende skæbne. Du kan læse om rettigheder vedrørende ’second opinion’ på: http://www.who.int/entity/genomics/public/eu_declaration1994.pdf?ua=1 og på: http://books.google.com/books?id=iDa_qL--W_oC&pg=PA64&lpg=PA64&dq=Denmark+patient+rights+second+opinion&source=bl&ots=yMxoL6ihEp&sig=AOnN0vIkEDHE3rcHeONNW8Olhek&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wVPtUrH1FpTYyQGmoIDIDQ&ved=0CEcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Denmark%20patient%20rights%20second%20opinion&f=true
2 . Vi har undersøgt mere om Karinas rettigheder som en EU-borger, og vi vil gerne dele denne information med dig. The European Consultation on the Rights of Patients, hvis formål var at definere principper og strategier for at fremme patientrettigheder, giver et eminent referencepunkt for at forstå Karinas rettigheder. Især relevante i Karinas sag er retten til at nægte behandling, retten til at skifte behandler, retten til familiens støtte under behandling, og retten til "grundig, retfærdig, effektiv og hurtig" svar på klager. Alle disse rettigheder står skrevet på denne side: http://www.who.int/entity/genomics/public/eu_declaration1994.pdf?ua=1
3. Et andet ledende princip, man brugte til at nedfælde disse vigtige sundhedslove, siger, at beslutninger for patienten bør tage hensyn til "kendt information, og i videst muligt omfang, hvad der kan formodes om patientens ønsker. " (Declaration on the Promotion of Patient’s Rights in Europe) Karina havde klare ønsker som hun bekendtgjorde inden hun blev fjernet fra sit hjem den 12. februar 2013. Hun sagde nej til GET (gradvist øgede træning) og CBT (kognitiv adfærdsterapi). Hun sagde også nej til at blive behandlet af Nils Balle Christensen. Karina valgte at give sine forældre fuldmagten over sig. Vær venlig at lytte til hvad de har at sige om deres datters ønsker. Vi er en gruppe mennesker fra forskellige lande som er gået sammen for at sikre, at Karinas rettigheder bliver respektret. Vi er upartiske og har ingen grund til at ønske noget andet end det, der er bedst for Karinas helbred. Vi vil offentliggøre dette brev, og vi vil også dele brevet som blev skrevet til dig fra Karina Hansens forældre (med deres fulde tilladelse).
Vi anmoder om, at du tager alle disse retningslinjer i betragtning, og at du som Karinas statsudnævnte værge sørger for, at hendes menneskerettigheder bliver overholdt. Venlig hilsen De ansvarlige for Justice For Karina Hansen
|Posted on February 5, 2014 at 12:35 AM|
No one should be stripped of their human rights because they are ill. We have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. We are all vulnerable when we become ill and enter the healthcare system. We must make sure that laws are enforced and human rights are respected for all people.
Karina Hansen is a 25-year-old Danish woman with severe ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). ME is a neuroimmune illness with the defining characteristic of post-exertional malaise or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion. It has been coded as a neurological illness (G 93.3) by the World Health Organization since 1969. Cases that are severe can cause a patient to be bedridden and in need of a carefully controlled environment in order to prevent exacerbation of symptoms. Light, noise, and touch can all be physically painful to an ME patient.
Karina has been battling this illness since the age of sixteen with the help of her loving parents. It took seeing different doctors at different institutions to receive the correct diagnosis. After receiving treatment that made her worse, Karina and her parents took steps to prevent this from happening in the future. They hired their own physician and dietician to treat Karina. Her mother, Ketty, was her full-time caregiver. Because of Karina's extreme sensitivity to stimuli such as sound and light, her parents moved into a trailer in their backyard during the day to allow Karina the quiet she needed. Karina hired a lawyer and gave her parents power of attorney to act on her behalf.
Unfortunately, in Denmark ME patients are often labelled as having a functional disorder. The treatment for a functional disorder includes graded exercise therapy (GET), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and possibly anti-depressants. Testing has shown that the bodies of ME patients respond to exercise differently than healthy people. Forcing exercise upon people with this illness can cause a significant worsening of symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful to some people but only as an adjunct therapy. Treating conditions such as cancer or MS with CBT and GET alone would be considered outrageous, not because they are bad in and of themselves, but because they in no way treat the underlying illness. Treating ME with these therapies is even worse because exercise can actually be detrimental to the patient.
Summary of Karina's experiences prior to her forcible removal:
In 2008 Karina was admitted to an arthritis hospital for a two-week treatment that involved GET. At the end of this stay she could only be active an hour a day. She was given the observational diagnosis of ME at this clinic.
At this time Karina and her family did not understand the concept of post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion and the danger that forced exercise (GET) can have for ME patients. The doctors encouraged it as a way to get better and Karina and her family understandably followed this advice. In 2010, Karina was again pressured into hospitalization and once again her sensitivities to sound and light were not taken into account. During this time a doctor wrote in her journal that Karina had no depressive or psychotic tendencies. Karina and her parents knew that this hospital treatment would be detrimental to her and fought to take her home. The doctors admitted there was absolutely no cause to keep her for psychiatric reasons and she was able to go home. Eleven days later a well-known ME expert examined her and confirmed the diagnosis of ME.
Because of their past experiences, Karina's parents also had another ME expert come in 2011 to confirm the diagnosis and to offer suggestions for testing or treatments that could improve Karina's quality of life. They wanted to ensure that they were doing all they could to properly care for their daughter at home. The ME diagnosis was once again confirmed and further supplements and suggestions were made. At this time in March 2011, a local doctor and medical officer interviewed Karina and found her to be competent to decide her own treatment. Karina explained to them that she did not want CBT or GET and instead chose treatment advice from ME experts. The medical officer wrote an official document in which he accepts Karina's decision to choose her own treatment. With ME being diagnosed multiple times and Karina once again declared mentally competent the family felt secure that all the steps to keep Karina safe had been taken.
In May 2012 Karina had a surprise visit from her GP and another local doctor. The GP had been pressured by the Board of Health to make this visit to evaluate her mental state. Once again Karina was declared mentally competent and could therefore not be forced into unwanted treatment. However, they said they she would have to have a new psychiatric evaluation in a few days. At this time Karina and her parents chose to get her story out to the public in hopes it might protect her. Karina chose pictures that could be used and said she hoped it would help others in her situation. In May 2012 Karina hired a lawyer and gave her parents power of attorney to make legal and medical decisions for her when she could not. During this time, the Board of Health assigned a psychiatrist to her case and he began contacting Karina's parents asking to visit Karina. Karina is under group 2 in the healthcare system which means she can chose any doctor she wishes and that the government cannot assign her one. She had chosen her own doctors and her family made it clear they did not want this psychiatrist involved in her case. They did not understand why he had any right to be involved in Karina's care.
This psychiatrist continued to insist that he see Karina and pressured them to admit Karina to a hospital, but he would not provide a treatment plan despite written requests by Karina's parents that he do so. The ME Association, Denmark offered to put him in touch with ME experts and have one visit Karina. This psychiatrist refused. In the fall of 2012, Karina's parents stopped all contact with this psychiatrist, but unbeknownst to Karina and her parents, this doctor did not stop his involvement in Karina's case. This doctor wrote to the Ministry for Health and Prevention asking about the right to keep relatives from visiting members in the hospital. He received the reply in a five-page answer that explains that human rights have priority.
Forcible removal and systemic stripping of Karina's patient rights:
On February 12, 2013 Karina Hansen was forcibly removed from her bed and relocated to Hammel Neurocenter. A total of five policeman, two doctors, two caseworkers, and a locksmith arrived unannounced to remove one bedridden young woman from her mother's loving care. Ketty Hansen (Karina's mother) was physically held back while her daughter called for her to come help and repeatedly rang her bell (her way of calling for her mother).
The anguish in that moment would be indescribable. What an overwhelming display of force against a bedridden daughter and her mother! Karina used her cell phone to call and text for help. She tried to call her mother who wasn't allowed to answear. She called her sister and father and asked for help. This was an enormous expenditure of energy for someone as sick as Karina. Her adrenaline must have been pumping as she sensed danger.
Later reports showed that during this time the house and its contents, such a supplements, medications, and the food in the refrigerator were photographed. Presumably they were looking for evidence of neglect and, of course, did not find it as Ketty had always received praise for her care of her daughter by doctors who visited her home. Per and Ketty (Karina's parents) took excellent care of Karina. In the aftermath of this visit Per and Ketty found a note on the floor by the door. It said "to Karina's parents. You will be contacted by a head doctor every day at about 10:00 with information about your daughter. You may also contact the place of treatment at this phone number xxx-xxx between 13:30 and 14:30 every day." There was no name or address on the paper. This was the only piece of paper they received that day!
On February 13th Karina called her mother and said "How can I get out of here? I can't take it" and the connection was cut. That was their last contact. They later discovered that Karina made a total of 43 phone calls and sent 7 texts in an attempt to get help before her phone died. Her last call was a call to the police that lasted about 40 seconds. Transcripts have been requested but not provided.
Her family has requested multiple time that her phone be charged for her. The response they received is that Karina must do it herself but she cannot walk to charge it. This shows an extreme callousness to her condition and the extra help Karina needs because of it.
A brief review of the past year
Karina's parents were finally informed that Karina had been taken to a neurocenter for treatment of her "severe condition." They were told that Karina could not have visitors for 14 days and then it would be reevaluated to see if she could have visitors. Although this contradicts what we now know was communicated to this doctor prior to Karina's removal.
This original time period was then extended to 3 weeks because the psychiatrist was on vacation. Then the terms of visitation were that only visitors who supported the treatment given were to be allowed.
During this past year Karina's decision to give her parents power of attorney has been disregarded. She has been appointed a guardian by the state. The guardian did not know Karina or her wishes prior to this. He believes in the treatment Karina is receiving. Conversations in meetings with the caregivers at Hammel Neurocenter have revealed a deep prejudice against ME. One doctor went so far as to call those who believe in ME "imbeciles."
Karina's parents and attorney are fighting this battle in the court system. It is a long, slow, uphill battle. Meanwhile Karina should be afforded the right to the support of her family, the right to change healthcare providers, and the right to have complaints treated in a swift and just manner. She has told them "you are killing me" and she has begged to be allowed to go home, and yet they disregard her.
They have stripped her diagnosis of ME and replaced it with a controversial diagnosis of PAWS (pervasive arousal withdrawal syndrome). Considering Karina has had multiple doctors diagnose her with ME, a second opinion by an ME expert seems to be the correct choice. Karina's parents are asking that Karina's right to a second opinion be enforced. According to the Danish Health Care Act, 2010, a second opinion is allowed if the condition is severe or life-threatening. The Declaration on the Promotion of Patients' Rights in Europe states that all patients should have the possibility of obtaining a second opinion. (2.7)
A well-known ME expert has volunteered his time to see Karina. His travel expenses will be paid by a patient association. This seems a small and easily grantable request in light of this situation. Karina's parents wrote to the guardian asking to allow Karina to take advantage of this opportunity to see an ME expert. The guardian responded saying that he trusts the team at Hammel Neurocenter and that he believes Karina is currently receiving the correct treatment but he said he would bring up their request at the next meeting with the team at Hammel.
Please join J4KH in asking that the guardian and the team at Hammel grant Karina this right to a second opinion! We have a shared our open letter on Facebook and this website.
We are asking everyone who believes Karina should have the right to this visit by the ME expert please sign our new petition on change.org. https://www.change.org/petitions/the-guardian-of-karina-hansen-we-ask-you-to-allow-karina-hansen-to-have-the-right-to-a-second-opinion-from-a-leading-me-expert-dr-nigel-speight#share
We are also starting a Thunderclap to help this new reach as many people as possible. Please lend us the power of your social media by signing up for our Thunderclap! http://thndr.it/1nUTVRm
Please like Justice for Karina Hansen on Facebook and follow us on twitter at Justice for Karina H @Justice4KarinaH to stay updated.
Sources for the above article:
1. Rynning, E. (2011), Nordic Health Law in a European Context: Welfare State Perspectives on Patient Rights and Biomedicine. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=iDa_qL--W_oC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
2.. Declaration on the Promotion of Patients' Rights in Europe, http://www.who.int/entity/genomics/public/eu_declaration1994.pdf?ua=1
3. Crowhurst, G. (2013) Severe ME, UK: Stonebird
|Posted on February 5, 2014 at 12:20 AM|
We have written an open letter to Karina's guardian and emailed it to him. You can read this below.
Dear Guardian :
We are writing to you out of concern for Karina Hansen. We understand you have been appointed guardian to Karina Hansen and that her parents have written to you requesting she be allowed to have a second opinion provided by an international ME expert - Dr. Nigel Speight. We are respectfully requesting that you allow Karina Hansen to be seen by this expert in a timely matter. We believe this young woman's quality of life, and possibly her life itself, rests on this decision.
We understand that being appointed guardian of someone with such a complex illness can be a difficult task. We have taken the time to research some matters which are relevant to this situation and might be of use to you as you make this decision.
1. Karina has the right to a second opinion. We understand that in Denmark this right to a second opinion is applied in cases that are severe or life threatening. We know that Karina's case is severe as clearly evidenced by her symptoms and quality of life. (To learn more about severe ME please visit http://www.stonebird.co.uk/symptoms.html We also believe it is life threatening. Sophia Mirza is one example of someone who died from ME after inappropriate treatment. You can learn about her at http://www.sophiaandme.org.uk/ . We are very much afraid that if you do not seize this opportunity to have Karina seen by these experts that Karina might suffer a similar fate.
You can read about rights to a second opinion at http://www.who.int/entity/genomics/public/eu_declaration1994.pdf?ua=1 and at http://books.google.com/books?id=iDa_qL--W_oC&pg=PA64&lpg=PA64&dq=Denmark+patient+rights+second+opinion&source=bl&ots=yMxoL6ihEp&sig=AOnN0vIkEDHE3rcHeONNW8Olhek&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wVPtUrH1FpTYyQGmoIDIDQ&ved=0CEcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Denmark%20patient%20rights%20second%20opinion&f=true
2. We have researched more about Karina's rights as a member of the European Union and we would like to share this information with you. The European Consultation on the Rights of Patients, whose purpose was to define principles and strategies for promoting the rights of patients, provides an excellent point of reference to understand Karina's rights. Especially applicable to Karina's case are the right to refuse treatment, the right to change healthcare providers, the right to enjoy the support of family during treatment, and the right to "thorough, just, effective and prompt" attention to complaints. All of these rights are listed at http://www.who.int/entity/genomics/public/eu_declaration1994.pdf?ua=1 .
Another guiding principle that helped set these important healthcare
laws says that decisions made for the patient should take into account
"what is known and, to the greatest extent possible, what may be
presumed about the wishes of the patient." (Declaration on the
Promotion of Patients' Rights in Europe) Karina very clearly made her
wishes known prior to being taken from her home on February 12, 2013.
She said no to GET (graded exercise therapy) and CBT (cognitive
behavioral therapy). She also said no to treatment by Nils Balle
Christensen. Karina chose her parents to have her power of attorney.
Please listen to what they have to say about their daughter's wishes.
We are a group of people from different countries that came together to ensure that Karina's rights are being respected. We are nonpartisan and have no reason to want anything but what is best for Karina's health. We are making this letter public and we will also share the letter written to you by Karina Hansen's parents (with their full permission).
We request that you take all of these guidelines into consideration and as Karina's state- appointed guardian please make sure that her human rights are being respected.
the managers of Justice for Karina Hansen
|Posted on August 10, 2013 at 3:45 AM|
We are excited to announce that articles in two Danish newspapers about Karina Hansen have been published today!
We are excited that progress is being made in sharing Karina's story. We believe that these efforts will be beneficial in releasing Karina. We thank each of you for what you have done to help Karina and we ask that you continue your efforts until Karina is free!
Below are links and translations.
They took our daughter
This is a closed article, you need a subscription to be able to read it. Due to copyright issues, the Hansen Family can not share the text with us. But Karina's sister-in-law, says it's very good and spread over 4 pages.
The text below the picture on the newspapers "more stories"-section reads:
They have not seen their adult daughter for almost 6 months, after she was committed to Hammel Neurocenter. Against the parents wishes. Against her own wishes. Not even her lawyer can get an explanation.
Parents denied accss to visit sick daughter: "Mum, how can I get out of here?"
Below the pictures:
The doctors are refusing to let Per and Ketty see their sick daughter K, who is committed at Hammel Neurocentre.
A tragedy is unfolding right now in Mid-Jutland. A conflict between a family and the government. And with the victim - the very sick 24 year old girl K - in the middle.
In february, five officers arrived and removed the 24-year old girl K from the family's home in Holstebro, and sectioned her against her will at Hammel Neurocentre. The government thought that the family, who was hired to take care of K who suffers from fatigue syndrome, were instead mistreating her and that her life was in danger. While the charges of mistreatment have been dropped, they have for half a year denied the parents access to their daughter.
- It's been a nightmare.
Per Hansen's eyes gets watery. And as he looks up on the wall with the family photo, where the daughter K is standing smiling with the rest of the family, the tears starts running down the face of the 59 year old man.
He hasn't seen his daughter for half a year, and he and the wife Ketty are close to becoming desperate. They don't have much trust for the government and fears for their daughters life. Because of this, they are here giving their version of the conflict that has shattered the familys life.
HAD TO BE WASHED AND FED
It started when K was 16, she first contracted monoucleosis, then several other infections and started to feel very tired and were hardly able to manage anything. The following years she was sent between the different health authorities that could not find the right treatment. All the while, her condition was deteriorating, says Ks mother, Ketty Hansen.
It was believed that K suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome, and the doctors tried excersise and rehabilitation.
- It was abuse. She became so sick after this that she ended up completely bedbound, says the mother who because of this was hired by Holstebro Municipality to take care of K.
K was so sick that the family had to sleep in a caravan in their yard, because even the tiniest noise and smell was very painful to the young woman, who laid inside the house.
- In the following years, she gradually worsened. Sometimes she did not have enough energy to chew, and I had to feed her and wash her in bed.But this autumn we started to notice a slight improvement. She could tolerate a bit more light, she could talk alittle bit more, says Ketty Hansen.
The mother tells that the authorities several times tried to get K into a hospital, but every time K refused.
On february 12th this year, the authorities then turned to harsher measures.
- Suddenly there's five officers who are holding me back while two doctors are taking K. I was completely shocked and shaken up all over my body, she says.
CALLED THE COPS HERSELF
Even K, that shortly after was driven away, seemed to panic. The bedbound girl was so sick that she, according to the family, has not been able to do phoncalls for many years. But according to a statement, that BT have gained access to, she made a total of 45 calls from the moment the doctors arrived and the following day.
- The day after she called me and managed to say "Mum, how can I get out of here?". Since then I have not heard her voice, says Ketty Hansen.
12 minutes later, K made her last call from the cell phone, whos charger she did not get to take with her when the doctors took her. Therefor, it is probably out of power. The call lasted 43 seconds and was to the police at 114.
Ks parents, that may never find out what the doctors believe is wrong with K, just hopes that someone will intervene.
- It is a despair so undescribeable. I'm afraid she will not survive this, and my biggest fear is that she lies out there and thinks that we agreed to the removal.
Hammel Neurocentre refuses to let BT talk with the locked up patient, K. Since it has not been possible to talk to her, BT has decided to withhold her identity.
24-year old patient: You are killing me
Below the picture:
On recordings that BT have access to, the head doctor at Hammel says that K is involunteerly committed. The region denies this flat out.
In the tragic conflict regarding a very sick 24-year-old girl, K, the parents have been told that their daughter is incarcerated. But the Region's head of legal affairs rejects this. The parents have not been allowed to see their daughter for half a year.
K also believe that doctors at Hammel Neurocenter are killing her. Atleast that's what the chief physician at Hammel Neurocenter said to Ks parents at a meeting on may 31st.
BT is in possession of a recording of the meeting where senior consultant Jens Gyring is trying to explain to the family that K, who find it very difficult to speak, is now able to speak in full sentences. Here he pulls up the following example for the family.
- She can and have always said 'You are killing me'. That is a complete sentence. End of story, says the doctor, to which the girl's father Per Hansen asks:
- Why can not she be allowed to decide whether she wants to be here, Jens?
- We haven't asked her that, says the doctor, and gives a reason why the girl has not been asked:
- Because she's committed. Incarcerated.
These statements are, however, flatly rejected by Poul Carstensen, head of Region Mid-Jutland's legal office.
- I can confirm that the patient is staying voluntarily there. (On Hammel Neuro Center, ed.). She is not incarcerated. Whatever Jens Gyring might have said, we do not have someone who is there against their will, he says and will not answer any further questions on the matter.
Nor chief consultant Jens Gyring is very talkative when BT call him.
- Unfortunately, I have no time for you. I have patients, he says, before hanging up.
AN UNFORTUNATE CASE
Neither Medical Director Claus Thomsen from Aarhus University Hospital, where the doctors who treat K belongs, wants to comment on the recordings of the meeting.
- This can and may I not speak about, for the sake of this young woman. What I can say is that this is a very unfortunate case, he says.
What do you think about the fact that she has said to your doctors that "you are killing me"?
- I can not comment on that.
BT has also tried to get a comment from Health Minister Astrid Krag to this case. But she doesn't have any comments either.
Why 24-year old K was removed from her parents
K was 16 years when she was struck by this violent illness.
It was a prolonged fear that K would die due to neglect in the home, if they did not intervene, that made the ministry of health show up with five officers and remove the girl against her will.
This explains several people in the health services who are familiar with the process, to BT. None of them however, wishes to come forward with the name, since they are not allowed to speak about the specific individual case. But BTs sources consistenly describes the whole situation as very difficult and tragic. But they are convinced that the decision to remove K was the only right one.
Before she was removed, K had said that she did not want to be hospitalised. Therefore, it would normally be against the rules to do it anyway becuase is 24 years and of age. So it was on the basis of the Penal Code Section 14 - the so-called state of necessity - that they took her, the sources confirms.
The state of nescessity is a clause that makes an otherwise criminal act legal, when it's nescessary to prevent imminient harm to a person.