At long last, Karina Hansen is now free from state guardianship! A local court in Denmark released Karina from state guardianship after an independent psychiatrist determined that she does not suffer with any psychiatric illness, understands the role of her state guardian and would like him removed from her case, and that she is capable of managing her own finances, according to reporting by the British barrister, Valerie Eliot Smith, who has followed Karina’s case over the past five years.
Karina Hansen is a young woman living in Denmark who was was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) as a teenager in 2008. She was cared for by her parents in their home using treatment that she chose. After attempting graded exercise and becoming worse, Karina and her parents chose to follow the advice of an ME expert. However, a psychiatrist that had become involved in her case chose to disagree with Karina’s own decision.
At the age of 24, Karina was forcibly removed from her home in Feb. 2013 by a team of police officers, social workers, and medical professionals. She was taken to Hammel Neurocenter and placed under the treatment of Nils Balle Christensen and Per Fink as a de facto psychiatric patient. Her family were not permitted to visit her. After three-and-a-half years of forced institutionalized, Karina finally came home in October of 2016 much worse than when she was taken from her home. She remained under state guardianship until today.
In Denmark, people with ME (or symptoms indicating ME) are treated as having a having a psychosomatic disorder categorized under the diagnosis of Bodily Distress Syndrome. The prescribed treatment is graded exercise therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy under a biopsychosocial model of treatment. Various other illnesses are also subsumed into this category, including Fibromyalgia, Irritable bowel syndrome, Whiplash Associated Disorder, PMS, tension headache.
“We at Justice for Karina Hansen saw the best of what the ME community can do during our active campaigning for her release and freedom. We also saw the worst of what can be done to the community. Karina Hansen and her family brought many people together to help in their fight for her freedom and we are grateful to rejoice with them at this time,” writes one of the managers for the advocacy group, Justice for Karina Hansen, formed by people with ME and allies fighting for Karina.
Meanwhile, Per Fink has been invited to speak about his theory of Bodily Distress Syndrome, which includes people with ME, at a psychosomatic conference at Columbia University on Oct. 20th. The ME community is demanding that the conference chair uninvite Per Fink from presenting at the conference about dangerous misinformation about ME, which is destroying the lives of people in our community. Sign the petition!
The NIH ME/CFS Research Roadmap public comment period is open now with a deadline of March 8th. #MEAction is a member of the ME/CFS Research Roadmap Working Group and for the past several months we have been advocating on behalf of this community within this group. Our Executive Director, Laurie Jones, served on the nervous