F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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NELLY_UK
Hi, I haven’t posted in yonks,but have read with interest on the BBC how a clearly mentally vulnerable parent has been held responsible along with other members of the family for her son aged over 18. He died of malnutrition. This is all the BBc’s Perspective which is usually biased. BUT as a parent of a 19 year old with severe bulimia who will not seek medical help, if she died, would it be possible that this duty of care would be brought upon us, her family?
The courts defence argued that at over 18 someone can refuse medical treatment, however the prosecution decided no, parents and adults living in the house had duty of care.
Does this change things for us parents of over 18’s who won’t seek help?
Not sure where to go with this one.
NELLY D 20 bulimic since age 12, diagnosed in 2011. 20 months useless CAMHs,7 months great IP, home March 14..... more useless CAMHs.now an adult & no MH services are involved. I reached the end of my tether, tied a knot in it and am hanging on. ED/Bulimia treatmentis in the dark ages in West Sussex.
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AUSSIEedfamily
Dear Nelly,

I do a whole heap of work in the Occupational Safety and Health (OH&S) arena on Mine Sites and Industrial sites with a very much simmilar system to the UK Safety Executive a deal with the OH&S Duty of Care all the time.

If ever anyone has demonstrated that they have discharged their duty of care to their daughter its Nelly_UK and above & beyond their duty of care. You have about three bibles of evidence that you have done everything and more that any parent could. In your case I believe the evidence you have would show that it is the clinical teams who have failed their duty of care.

There is also in the mental health arena a term of "The Dignity Of Risk" used alot where people engage in hazardous risky behaviours and past times like; heavy alcohol consumption/abuse, illegal drug use/abuse, unprotected/unsafe sex, illegal/criminal activities. So the situation as I see it for you is keep doing what you do of providing support and safety net and opportunities for treatment care and recovery while at the same time understanding your limits imposed by the system that deems your daughter as an adult. E-mail me if you want more info. Also if you e-mail me we can exchange phone numbers & we can talk on the phone if you want!!

Here is one piece of the net about Dignity of Risk
Dignity of risk is the idea that self-determination and the right to take reasonable risks are essential for dignity and self esteem, thus should not be impeded by excessively cautious caregivers concerned about their duty of care. This concept is applicable to adults who are under care such as elderly people, disabled people, and people with mental health problems.

ED Dad
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EDAction
Dear Nelly,

First, I can't say it better than AUSSIEedfamily.  If anyone has discharged their duty of care, it is you.

Second, society can't have a health care system that cuts parents out of the decision making once a son/daughter turns 18 and then turn around and hold parents responsible when a son/daughter of that age dies from lack of treatment.  I realize that it seems that is exactly what happened in Jordan Burling's case.  But the facts are extreme in that case and unlike any of the situations I've read about on the forum (extremely reclusive family, mother with questionable mental health to the point that she hid body of baby she delivered at home who died in the closet for years, evidence of neglect dating back many years, grandmother and 25 year old sister at home too, son hadn't had any medical care in many years, mother took care of him while he was bedridden but a doctor was never called or consulted in the six months that he was ill before dying).  It is a horribly sad situation.  I think it's a matter of bad facts turning into bad law.  It would be interesting to read the judge's opinion if one was issued to see exactly what was held.


DD diagnosed with anorexia at 14; FBT at home with the help of psychologist and medical dr; 3+ years later and doing well (knock on wood)
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Torie
Nelly!!  I'm so sorry you even need to think about this.  I cannot imagine that this would happen to you, but of course who would imagine any of us would find our families on the other side of the rabbit hole in the first place.  

I think of you and your d (and Simba and your h) often.  What a tough row for the whole family!  I continue to hope that time and patience will work their miracle and that you will have good news to report here one day.  Please keep us posted. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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