Monday, May 12, 2014

ME Awareness Day: Free Karina Hansen

ME/CFS AwarenessI've mentioned before that under normal circumstances, I have little use for "awareness" campaigns as they pertain to diseases. My being aware of illness X does nothing for people who suffer from it. Not unless I do something helpful with my newly acquired knowledge, like contributing to research for a cure.

So-called invisible illnesses like myalgic encephalomyelitis are the exception. Despite the fact that ME causes chronic, debilitating pain, crushing exhaustion not relieved by rest, and greater susceptibility to fatal cancers and heart failure, just to name a few symptoms, many people don't take it seriously. This may have something to do with the name it's commonly called in the US: "chronic fatigue syndrome."

Not taking this disease seriously can have dire consequences. Just ask Karina Hansen, a young Danish woman who was diagnosed with the disease. On February 12, 2013, Karina was forcibly removed from her home—against her wishes and against the wishes of her mother, who was caring for her—and taken to Hammel Neurocenter for psychiatric treatment.

She is still there.

The people at Hammel Neurocenter ignore the medical diagnosis of ME she received, likely because they don't believe ME is real. They refuse to allow her to even obtain a second opinion.

Injustices like this can only persist in a culture of ignorance. I don't know how to help Karina Hansen and others like her except to keep asking people not to be part of the problem.


DeppityBob said...

This is the sort of mission where a petition gathered on the internet might actually do some good. Maybe you can go to one of these sites and start one up? All you'd need is the coding and an address to send it to, and you're good to go.

cinderkeys said...

There were petitions. They're closed now, presumably after having obtained enough signatures.

There's a Facebook page you can go to for updates, though:

Sally Burch said...

Thank you for raising these issues. I too wish we could be more effective in Karina's case.

Thank you so much for helping raise awareness by participating in the #May12BlogBomb.
Over 90 posts resulted, and links to the others can be found here:

Perhaps we'll try this all again next year!