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

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daddownunda
Has anyone in Australia used a guardianship order through the Office of the Public Advocate? I was told by Butterfly Foundation support line that this is possible. I know it will take some work to arrange but I will follow advice from anyone out there that had knowledge/ experience with this. My daughter at 22 yr old will not voluntarily seek help. At a BMI of 11 she needs some forced help to close the gap until her BMI is high enough for other treatment and support to take effect. After 7 years the family support is fading and this adult is lacking any support in her chances to regain her life. If other states in Australia can used forced treatment that so can Sth Australia where we live.
Thanks for any input you can offer
DDU
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everhopeful
My adult daughter was put under a Guardianship order (NSW) at a BMI of 14. This was at the initiative of the GP. She was appointed initially a private guardian and later the public guardian. The Order lasted 12 months in total. At no point in that time was the Order able to be used to enforce involuntary treatment. It can't be used to enforce treatment in a private hospital and she never qualified for a public bed. Even if she had qualified, it is my understanding that she would have needed only to be scheduled under MHA and that a Guardianship Order wouldn't have meant anything anyway.
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Foodsupport_AUS
Have you seen this? http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legalandrisk/docs/resources/Mental_Health_Act_Plain_Language_Guide.pdf  It looks as though it should be possible for you to get some involuntary treatment for your D, especially if her BMI is 11 and she is not seeking treatment. 

We did contemplate at one stage involuntary treatment and it helped her follow through and volunteer to be in treatment.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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iwanttohelp
As i cannot start a thread myself, i just want to ask for help in this one (sorry i hope this is okay!)

Has anyone experience with losing parental rights by a court decision? How did you deal with that? I know, laws differ a lot, but i have a case where the dr threaten to make the court take away the child (who is inpatient atm) if she loses weight during the visiting weekends. Parents are divorced, so it means one weekend at father/mother, which of course complicate things.
Mother has a lawyer, but her fear to loose the child is incredible.

Anything to cheer her up, give hope? thanks
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mjkz
As you said iwanttohelp, laws differ greatly but if the mother is trying to feed and the kid won't eat, I don't think there is any possibility she will lose parental rights. My sister-in-law is the juvenile court officer for the county she lives in.  The only reasons for pulling parental rights are abuse, neglect, parents requesting it, etc.  I think the mother ought to file a complaint against the doctor for even threatening anything like this. I don't see if as a realistic option or anything that would happen unless she is actively starving the kid or is so strung out for whatever reason that she forgets to try to feed him/her.  The doctor really needs to go back and read the Hippocratic Oath that he took upon graduation and seriously consider what it means.

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iwanttohelp
Thanks.

mjkz: the d is in hospital for several months without success. Medical team is blaming all to the parents not working as a team. Saying, if d loses at home it is a sign of child neglect. sounds ridicolous (clinic not able to make d gaining, mother not in that game, but when d is at home for 2 days and loses it is a sign of child not safe at home?)

I recommended her this page, but she feels not yet able to join.

Just want to give her some hope. Maybe its stupid bc noone here is a lawyer nor knows the system over here. I just thought that maybe some parents here had a similar situation and could tell her for the worst case how they dealt with it. Dunno. Feeling helpless and angry myself for mother and girl.
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mjkz
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mjkz: the d is in hospital for several months without success.


It strikes me that the way to handle this may be to make sure the daughter is back to eat every meal and snack at the hospital then on the mother's weekends.  She can't very well be blamed for any weight loss if the daughter is eating at the hospital.  Yes, it would be a shame not to have those days at home but if the parents can't get the kid to eat and there is a threat of loss of parental rights, I'd just take my kid out for several hours in the morning on Saturday and Sunday after she ate breakfast, then several hours in the afternoon each day.  Father can figure out best way for him to handle the situation.  If losing her child is something that could happen with weight loss, I'd simply beat them at their own game and not take her home on weekends.  If the hospital tries to force the mother to take the daughter home, they can't very well turn around and terminate her parental rights if the daughter loses weight. Just to be safe, I'd make sure that I wrote out that I knew I couldn't make my daughter eat at home and I was being forced to take her home by doctors who knew she would lose weight coming home with me.  Her attorney can draw something up easily that she should submit to be part of her daughter's medical record. 

The mother could still enjoy time with her daughter that way and the hospital still be responsible for her not losing weight.  I have actually done something similar on occasions with my daughter when I knew she was not ready to come home with me and the hospital gave her leave anyway.  With the way insurance works over here, insurance sees a home leave and can stop paying whether the home leave is successful or not.  Because our insurance company had a habit of doing that and the hospital my daughter was in required her to get home leave in preparation for discharge, I made sure I wrote in her record that I was not in agreement with taking her home.  I was doing it because I had no other choice and I had alerted the hospital to the fact that she would not eat at home.  The hospital was sending her home anyway.  That way I was covered if she lost weight and insurance decided she was ready to leave.
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iwanttohelp
mjkz thanks, that may be an option. Mother told me yesterday things rush now. Hospital sends d home next week for 10 days. If she loses weight, court will be informed. There is no chance mother says no to d returning - this would mean, she loses her rights immediatly. desperate.

i told her about LSUYE.

Maybe she can manage that.
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mjkz
I don't understand if she knows the daughter will lose weight and she will lose her parental rights why she would even take that chance by taking the daughter home.  If she can't stop her from losing weight (and it sounds like the hospital can't even get her to gain) why take her home?  I think she really needs to talk to the attorney to find out her options.  Personally I would never take my daughter out of a hospital for an extended period of time unless I knew I could keep her from losing weight.  If I couldn't, then she wouldn't be coming home with me.

Doctors also threaten things (and I've run into this more with psychiatrists than any other physician) that they can't do too.  When I was in college, I was inpatient for treatment resistant depression.  I had meds in a safe at home and my psychiatrist at the hospital wanted them brought in.  There was no one to do it so he told me he would call the police and have them go in and get my safe before they would send me home.  I wasn't sure if he could do that so I called the police and asked.  They laughed and said under no circumstances would they do that unless I'd committed murder, confessed to it and told them I had the murder weapon in my safe. Even then they would wait until I was out of the hospital to take them into my place and open the safe.
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mjkz
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PS mjkz ,,,,WOW! what a story!


I was embarrassed that I fell for it and I'm sure I earned a few personality disorder diagnoses by checking it out but I've had many psychiatrists actually threaten things that I know they can't do both with my own struggle with depression and in my daughter's case.  I was actually turned in to social services when my daughter was in high school because one of her teachers thought she was too smart to be doing this to herself so therefore I must be starving her!!  Social services did investigate and closed the case very quickly when they realized she had an eating disorder, was under a treatment team and very close medical monitoring, etc.
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Torie
There is no chance mother says no to d returning - this would mean, she loses her rights immediatly. desperate.[/QUOTE
I'm sorry, I don't understand.  Do you mean:

1) Mother will lose her rights if she refuses to take her d home; or

2) Mother will lose her rights if she takes her d home and refuses to take her back to treatment center?

It sounds like they need expert legal help.  And the lawyer could very likely use some resources we would be happy to provide to help him / her (and the court) understand this bizarre illness.  As others have said, if the treatment team can't get her to gain weight, it is unrealistic to expect the family to be able to provide adequate care at home.  This is such a difficult illness, even for the professionals to treat!  And that is, of course, a whole team of professionals, not one or two parents who love their d desperately, but have not been trained to deliver expert treatment for this deadly illness.

If she is required to take the girl home, are they willing to provide back-up for missed meals?

If the mother loses her rights, who will care for this girl?  

I can hardly believe this.  That poor mother!  xx

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

i thank you a lot for your responses. Due to privacy, i will have to keep informations limitited, but in general:

@toothfairy, @Torie: Yes. You got it right. It seems absolutly nonsense, but that is what things are at the moment.

Just some facts:

- d is ill for about 2,5 y
- court has been involved from the beginning bc parents werent able to have same goals
- no gaining so far during hospital stay
- no compliance ( i know, i know....)


D seems to have mentioned that she wants to go home recently, i think, as sad as it is, they try to make this work for them:
if you want to go home, proove that you can eat at home (which is sth she cant in hospital...only eating safe foods there). If you cannot give us that proove, you will lose your home.

It is absolutly unfair. Day of release was scheduled in June, now its next week, far too soon for everyone.

I dont say it makes sense. I just say thats what the mother knows.

If she loses her rights, youth care will get it and will decide where the girl will stay.

Meanwhile i recommended her that page again and esp the part about feeding a child at home. If the family can manage these 10 days the might have A BIT time to breathe.

If you want my 5 cents: the whole treatment team is totally at the end of their wisdom so its the easiest way to blame the family.

This is an example how therapy or treatmen should NOT look alike.

I am angry.
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iwanttohelp
@toothfairy i have to add that this girl is NOT at a specific edtreatment place, bc they require motivation and you cannot be sectioned there. She is on a public psychiatric ward for children and they work very different there. Its a lot of pressure and forcing (so i cannot understand why there has been no gain for months, but well, i saw similar cases on here! ). Yes, its scary.

@mjkz: in this case court is already involved and there will be definitivly an audition and the doctors from the ward will be asked for a statement so no, i do not think it is just a threat.


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mjkz
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@mjkz: in this case court is already involved and there will be definitivly an audition and the doctors from the ward will be asked for a statement so no, i do not think it is just a threat.


Yes, I'd have to agree with you.  I personally would not be taking my daughter home under those circumstances.  It seems pretty clear what will happen if she does and I guess only she can make that decision though.  I completely agree with your anger and your assessment of where the treatment team is right now.  If the hospital can't make progress, then she will most likely lose at home.  What a situation to be in as a parent!!!  I hope she chooses not to take her home.  Do you know what her lawyer has advised her?
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Foodsupport_AUS
Dear Forum Members,
The moderators are very concerned at the direction this thread is going. Daddownunda has asked a very legitimate question, which no one seems to be addressing. Hopefully some people do have some suggestions to help him move forward with compulsory treatment if needed. 

D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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mjkz
iwanttohelp asked an equally legit question.  Can you move her question to a new thread if we can't continue it here please? I'd do it myself but I don't know how to move all the answers.
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iwanttohelp
Sorry, i did not want to crush this thread! I hope, Daddownundo finds members on here to help.
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daddownunda
Thank you everhopeful and Foodsupport-Aus. for your responses and support to keep my question in focus. I have no experience with social media, but can see it is a mine field sometimes.
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