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Wasilla man in adult protective custody released from Seattle hospital

Laurel Andrews

Bret Bohn, a 27-year-old hunting guide from Wasilla who earlier this year became the subject of a high-profile adult protective custody case, has been released from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and is now staying in Idaho, his family confirmed Monday. Bohn mysteriously fell ill and was taken into adult protective custody during his hospitalization, which began last year.

News of his release was first posted on the Facebook page "Free Bret Bohn," which has chronicled his case since December and has garnered more than 4,000 followers. The page is run anonymously by a long-time family friend, the page administrator wrote in March. A post Sunday said that Bohn had been released and was staying with family in Idaho.

Bohn's aunt Jo Phillips confirmed that Bohn had been released from the Seattle medical center and was staying in Boise. She said the Facebook post "summarized it pretty good."

Bohn is doing well, she said, "considering what he's gone through."

Phillips declined to discuss Bohn's case further, citing an ongoing legal case regarding the state's protective custody of Bohn.

Seven months of medical drama

Bohn's case garnered widespread attention, as he was taken in adult protective custody after a court ruled his family was interfering with treatment. His family alleged that he was being held against his will, and that the psychotropic medication he was forced to take was causing harm.

According to a court order first obtained and posted by Police State USA, which has since been removed, Bohn was initially seen at Providence Medical Center in early October. He complained of insomnia and disorientation after he returned from a bear hunt. He was prescribed lorazepam and zolpidem and was released. The next evening, after taking the medication, Bohn began suffering seizures, according to court documents.

Three days later he returned to Providence, as his condition continued to deteriorate. He became unresponsive and fell into delirium while admitted. An immediate diagnosis was unknown.

In November, the state received emergency temporary guardianship after the family's relationship with doctors quickly deteriorated.

He was taken into full adult protective custody in February, after a ruling in Anchorage Superior Court found that his parents were interfering with his treatment, including coaching him not to take medication prescribed by doctors, and allegations that his mother said she would rather he die in her arms than continue receiving the drugs. His mother denied the allegations.

In January, Bohn was diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis, an infection in which a person's immune system attacks parts of the brain.

On March 26, after a nearly five-month stay at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage, Bohn was transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to court documents. His parents traveled to Seattle separately.

Mother arrested for kidnapping, no charges filed

Nearly a month later, Bohn's mother Lorraine Phillips was arrested after she allegedly shoved a hospital orderly on April 22 while escorting her son into an elevator. Phillips then walked out of Harborview with her son, according to court documents.

Phillips was located and arrested at a clinic in Seattle three days later, where she had booked an appointment for her son. Bohn was transported back to Harborview.

Phillips was held overnight, and released from King County Jail the next day on the conditions that she have no contact with her son, possess no weapons and remain in Washington state. At a second hearing four days later, the conditions were dropped. No charges had been filed against Phillips as of Monday.

Jo Phillips told the Anchorage Daily News that Lorraine was just trying to get a second medical opinion for her son. Jo Phillips said she believed her nephew was being used as a "human experiment" by Harborview and Providence.

Alaska court documents regarding Bohn's custody are sealed. Jim Gottstein, attorney with the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, petitioned the court to make the documents available to the public and was denied in April. He plans to appeal the denial, he said Monday.

Reach Laurel Andrews at laurel@alaskadispatch.com.


By LAUREL ANDREWS
laurel@alaskadispatch.com