Monday 22 December 2014

Anorexic woman ‘making monumental strides’

Tim Healy

Published 28/01/2014 | 11:34

THE 22-year old girl who suffers from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa and whom the High Court ordered be fed through a tube last week is making "monumental strides", the court heard today.

The President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns extended the order to feed the young woman nutritional  feeds through a tube until next Friday.

Mr Justice Kearns heard a progress report on the young woman who last week in hospital  began to refuse four out of the seven nutritional feeds her body requires.  He was told the court order had had a very positive effect.

Peter Finlay SC for the HSE said the order had been extremely efffective. The 22 year old  had sent a card of thanks  to one of the specialists treating her  and counsel said from what the woman has written it was clear "she does  not want a fataL outcome" to her case.

Counsel asked for an extension of the court order amid a concern that she will not continue to accept the nutritional feeds required un less the order is in place.

He said there was a fear of a downward spiral as in the past once the young woman begins to put on weight.

"It is necessary for the immediate future the order remains in place. We are asking the court to allow the order to stay in place for another week to see how we go," Counsel said.

Counsel for the young woman Michael Ramsey BL said his side had no objection to the order staying in place but asked for permission for an independent expert on the eating disorcder to c arry out a psychiatric support.

Mr Justice Kearns said he would continue the order to nert Friday when the case will come back before the court  again, but he was not going at this stage to intervene and  have an indepdent psychaitric report carried out. He said all the the indications were the young woman was receiving excellent care

Last week the court heard the woman had refused four out of seven oral nutritional supplements in  24 hours  and due to her low body weight- which currently at 32.8kg with a BMI of 12.2.- she ran the risk of collapse. Her medical team believed she needed to restore by 7kg to allow her to be sufficiently stable to function outside of the hosptial.s

In an affidavit a consultant physician in gastroenterology said the woman had first been admitted to hosptial in late 2012 as a result of starvation due to anorexia nervosa. Upon admission her body weight was 26 kg and she had a BMI of 9.8. She had to be artifically ventilated and a gastrostomy PEG tube was inserted in order to feed her safely. When she regained consciousness she was insistent she could maintain her weight and was eventually discharged home.  The consultant said unfortunately there have been two readmissions since then which have lasted for several months and the woman has remained in hosptial continuously since the middle of last year

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