A 22-YEAR-old woman who suffers from anorexia is to be fed through a tube in hospital for another two weeks.
The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, yesterday extended for a fortnight the order after hearing an update on the woman's progress.
The judge said if an application is made by her lawyers at that stage for an independent psychiatric report to be carried out, the court will by sympathetic to it.
Peter Finlay SC, for the HSE which made the application to have her fed through a tube, said the court order had been hugely effective and the woman has accepted the seven daily nutritional feeds her body requires.
In a report read to the court, her consultant psychiatrist said she had become "acutely distressed" at having to accept further nutritional supplements and last Wednesday refused her afternoon feed.
However hospital staff explained the court decision to her again and "after much support and encouragement she accepted the feed."
The young woman later reported that the only reason she has been able to accept her feeds is because she realises the court order means she will be given them through the feeding tube. She also reiterated she does not want to die.
The psychiatrist said the multi-disciplinary team caring for her believes the court's intervention is allowing her to hand control of her feeding to the staff and without the intervention she would have to take the responsibility for herself.
The team believe she is currently unable to do so.
The team believes she will continue to improve with the current care plan.
Mr Finlay said it would be very much in the woman's interest that the status quo is maintained and he asked that the feeding order be continued until February 17 when a great deal more will be known about the woman's welfare.