After a family fought the state for custody of their 27-year-old hospitalized son for nine months, a magistrate judge on Friday recommended that the state's guardianship of him be terminated.
The past few months have been a long ordeal for the Bohn family in trying to get their son Bret Bohn out of the state's care. For the most part the fight for his guardianship has been a private matter in the courts, and although Channel 2 News was not allowed in the courtroom to see or hear the proceedings, there were plenty of smiles when Bret's family came out.
After going to Providence Hospital for insomnia last October, his family says he was prescribed anti-psychotic medication that made him worse. And for nearly nine months, they have been fighting the state for the right to make medical decisions for him. Which is why after hearing that Bret's guardianship will be terminated, his mother Lorraine is glad the struggle could be finally over.
"I'm just happy, I'm really happy, for Bret," said Bohn. "He's able to make his own decisions and he's followed the proper procedures by the courts and he's doing great."
The family's attorney, Mario Bird, says Bret did speak to Magistrate John Duggan via the phone from Idaho.
"I can tell you that his improvement in the last two months medically speaking has been the substantial change of circumstances," said Bird. "Bret Bohn has regained capacity thanks be to God, and he is now ready to reenter society as the young man he was before he had a guardian placed over him last fall."
The family says Bret wants to know why the ruling was made.
"He doesn't understand how this all happened how someone has gotten guardianship over him," said Lorraine Bohn.
It's a situation that the Bohn family says should open more eyes of who can make life or death decisions.
"It could happen to anybody, it should make Alaskans all aware of what their rights are under the law and when and how the state will intervene over and above the desires of parents and in this particular case the power of attorney that somebody executed before they were incapacitated," said Bird.
The Bret Bohn case is not over yet. The recommendation for termination of guardianship has to be signed by a Superior Court Judge. No word on when that decision will be made. In the meantime, Bird says its his understanding that Bret wants to make the court records public and available so people can see the truth for themselves.
Through a spokesperson, the Department of Law said " Since there has not been an order or ruling allowing the parties to speak publicly about this matter, we are unable to provide a response at this time."
Corey Allen-Young KTUU Channel 2 Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org 744-2642 cell