Letter from Rebecca Hansen

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?


Rebecca Hansen

Chairman, ME Association, Denmark…/Fall2011Kin…/tabid/501/Default.aspx…/Repor…/2015/MECFS/MECFS_ReportBrief.pdf reference 50: Crowhurst G. Supporting people with severe myalgic encephalomyelitis. ] Nursing Standard. 1921 [PubMed]…/Crowhurst-Severely-affected-i-Nu…;

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