An 85-year-old Texas man is trapped in state custody, all because he went to a hospital for routine surgery.
Charlie Fink checked into the Richardson Methodist Hospital late last month for hernia surgery, and now Adult Protective Services thinks he shouldn’t go home anytime soon. Fink’s neighbors, Debra and Kenny McIntosh, look after the 85-year-old North Texan and wholeheartedly believe their friend is being held against his will.
“Charlie Fink’s my friend,” Kenny McIntosh told the local Fox affiliate. “He’s an 85-year-old man that doesn’t have any family and I feel like he’s getting preyed on by a few certain people. If I was Charlie Fink Jr., I could have went right up in there and brought my dad home. He called me and said, ‘I haven’t left yet. Adult Protective Services lady came in here and told me I wasn’t never coming home.’”
The Richardson Methodist Hospital has refused to share details about why the elderly Texas man was not allowed to leave, citing privacy laws. The state since has transferred him to a nursing home, where he is with his wife – who also was taken into state custody in early February out of fear he could not take care of her.
Just Wants To Go Home
Fox 4 News received a phone call from Charlie Fink after his neighbor contacted them about his ongoing ordeal. According to the hospitalized Texan, he thought he would be returning home just a few days after the surgery, on a Monday. “Now here it is, Wednesday, and I’m still here. No, I stand corrected. They put me in a mental institution Monday night. I want out of here. So bad I can taste it,” Fink said.
Fink reportedly has no history or either dementia or mental illness. The fate of the Texas senior citizen is eerily similar to the Justina Pelletier story Off The Grid News has previously reported on multiple times. The Connecticut teenager was taken to the hospital for flu treatment more than a year ago and was made a ward of the state after Boston Children’s Hospital doctors disagreed with and disregarded the long-standing diagnosis and treatment she had been receiving from a different hospital for a genetic disorder.
According to an investigation into the Charlie Fink case by Fox News 4, Adult Protective Services reportedly feels that the 85-year-old man is possibly a threat to himself and others and is unable to handle his home responsibilities any longer.
Reporters from the TV station were permitted to tour Fink’s home when the McIntoshes were there taking care of routine cleaning issues.
The Finks are currently living together at the nursing home.
“They’re getting older, so it’s hard for them to move everything where they need to, and dust high and stuff like that, which I can understand,” neighbor Debra said about the conditions inside the home.
Attorney Geoff Henley, not connected to the case, told local media that to his knowledge, Fink was not present during a custody hearing that determined his fate. Fink was “entitled to be” at the hearing, Henley said.
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“[The state must ask,] can this person feed himself, clothe himself, make decisions about his medical treatment, make decisions about his housing? Things of that nature,” Fink said.
Adult Protective Services reportedly became involved with the case after receiving an anonymous call about Charlie Fink while he was in the hospital. Charlie and Edith have no family, but their neighbors consider them like kin.
“Give him one more chance. That’s all I’m asking. Give him one more chance and bring him home and let us take care of him.” Kenny McIntosh said.
Adult Protective Services staffers are expected to testify that Fink is “somewhat frail,” lives in a messy home, and cannot make reasonable decisions based upon the fact that he wanted to go home after recovering from hernia surgery instead of staying at the hospital for rehab, during an upcoming hearing.
The Texas situation is not only a tragedy for Fink, but perhaps others as well. If senior citizens across the country opt out of seeking medical care for fear of losing their independence, the health of our elders will surely deteriorate quickly.
What do you think? Should the hospital have held Charlie Fink?