Sunday, October 18, 2015

Justice for Karina Hansen

I am reposting this urgent message from fellow patient Wendy Boutilier.  We believe this is a human rights violation and need international help for this young woman, imprisoned in a mental hospital for 2 1/2 years for the sin of having Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.  She was 24 when taken from her family; she just turned 27.

On February 12, 2013, five policemen from Holesbro County, Denmark, came to ME patient Karina Hansen's house and forcibly removed her from her bed.  

There were also 2 doctors, a locksmith, and 2 social workers present.

Karina called for her mother's help, but her mother was blocked by the police from aiding her.

Karina used her mobile phone for the first time in years to call her mother, her father, her cousin and her sister, Janni.

Karina is so ill that she can usually only speak in one or two word sentences, but during her removal she managed to call her father and say:  

"Help Dad!  In my room!"  and to her sister:  "Help, Janni!  I don't know where they are taking me!"

Karina's mother could not answer her phone because she was surrounded by policemen.

Karina was then driven to a hospital in an ambulance.  Her parents were not told where Karina was being taken or what reason they had for taking her.  No paperwork was given to her parents.

Later that day, they got a phone call and were told that Karina was at Hammel Neurocenter and that someone would call them every day at 10 am to tell them how Karina was doing.

They were also told that no one could visit Karina for 14 days.

On the morning of February 13, Karina managed to call her mother from her mobile phone.  She said:

"How can I get out of here?  I can't take this."  [Hvordan kan jeg komme væk herfra?  Jeg kan ikke klare det.]  Then the connection was cut.

A few days later, Karina's parents got a letter from a psychiatrist Nils Balle Christensen, which said he would be in charge of Karina's treatment at Hammel Neurocenter.  He also wrote that because of her condition, Karina was not allowed visitors for 14 days.

That ban on visitors was later extended to three weeks because Dr. Christensen was on vacation.  Nils Balle Christensen works at the Research Clinic for Functional Disorders and Psychosomatics.  He and his superior, psychiatrist Per Fink, believe that Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a functional disorder.  [Note from MS:  The sister was finally allowed a visit, but burst into tears at the condition in which she found Karina, and after that NO family visitors have been permitted.  For over two years.]

"Functional disorder" has replaced the term "psychosomatic illness" in psychiatry-speak.  In this case, they had expanded it to what was called "Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP)," or it's modern incarnation, "factitious illness by proxy," where the parents are accused of making their child appear sick.  The treatments the clinic recommends are:  exercise (GET), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and antidepressants.

[Note from MS:  If you have seen "Sixth Sense," you have seen a fictional case of MSBP.  But it has been shown time and time again that while this may actually happen in a few very rare cases, there's no need for a special diagnostic category - the diagnosis "psychopath" already exists and fits the situation.  But then it would be the parents who should be put in a mental hospital, not the child.  As for the treatment, psychotherapy may help a patient accept the condition (as in MS), but cannot cure the disease.  Indeed, the insistence by European psychiatrists that psychotherapy will cure this disease is reminiscent of the days when MS was called "hysterical paralysis" - except the European psychiatrists prefer the old term for the vapors, "neurasthenia."  A new category was created recently, "Somatic Symptoms Disorder," and Per Fink, one of the psychiatrists involved in this case, is active in WHO and trying to get this accepted as a category in ICD-11.  Karina's case thus has political overtones, unfortunately, which has made the psychiatrists involved unwilling to compromise.

Note continued:  There has been significant research published showing that graded exercise is actually dangerous for even high-functioning patients, and this young woman is extremely disabled.]

The psychiatrists at this clinic have no experience with severely ill ME patients and we fear that Karina is being treated incorrectly, and that their mistreatment of her will lead to a severe and permanent worsening of her condition.

[Note from MS:  This has occurred in the UK where it is not uncommon for young ME patients to be "sectioned" - forcibly committed to a mental hospital against their will - and they have come out of the hospital in much worse condition than when they entered.  In one tragic case, Sophia Mirza died from irreversible damage to her condition that occurred in a mental hospital.  Her autopsy showed significant damage to the basal root ganglia, and a formal  inquiry concluded she died of ME.]

Various petitions have been set up and signed, letters have been sent to MPs in the UK, European Union Danish Ministry of Health, Danish Government of Power and the Danish Royal Family, all to no avail.

There is no contact permitted between Karina and her family, and there has only been limited contact permitted between Karina and her lawyer, as well as the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Association of Denmark.  Some updates on her condition is published from time to time, but it is basically censored.

Inside information tells a different story.  Karina believes they are trying to kill her with this line of treatment.  Her condition is worse now than before she was hospitalized.  Unfortunately, that is what could be predicted given the severity of her disease when she entered the mental hospital and the rigid beliefs of this branch of the psychiatric profession in Denmark.

All of Karina's human rights have been severed.  We have not been provided with the name of her lawyer and/or representative with the United Nations Human Rights Council, and we have no uncensored contact with Karina or any of her representatives.

There are a number of petitions being circulated, but this one has the most names, so if you can add your name to it we would be grateful.  If you belong to any human rights organizations, tell them about Karina's case.  And RETWEET!!

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URGENT - you can sign a letter to the new Prime Minister of Denmark by going to this website:

Letter about Karina to Danish PM