News Courts

Saturday 22 October 2016

Girl (16) with severe depression to receive electric shock treatment

Tim Healy

Published 21/04/2016 | 02:30

Mr Justice Peter Kelly. Photo: Frank McGrath
Mr Justice Peter Kelly. Photo: Frank McGrath

A 16-year-old girl with severe depression associated with an eating disorder is to receive up to 12 sessions of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in what a court heard will be life-saving treatment for her.

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High Court President Mr Justice Peter Kelly ordered the therapy for the girl who, he was told, is a high achiever whose depressive illness has become so severe that she says she wants to die.

She harms herself, including by running at walls to bang her head, the court heard.

Granting the treatment ­orders sought by the HSE, the judge was satisfied it was a rare case in which ECT was "not only warranted but demanded".

All other medication, support and psychotherapy had not succeeded in improving her condition, he said.

The court heard her depression is so deep that she is now "almost mute". A psychiatrist told how the girl first presented with anorexia.

The judge said it was clear this can be said to be life-saving treatment because from the evidence she is endeavouring to bring an end to her life. He was satisfied the advantages of ECT far outweigh its disadvantages.

Irish Independent

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