Sunday 25 February 2018

Court orders to force feed woman who wanted to die 'have saved her life' as she is making progress, court hears

The HSE launched proceedings after she refused food and fluids for some weeks.
The HSE launched proceedings after she refused food and fluids for some weeks.

A WOMAN who had previously refused to take food and fluids because she wanted to be allowed die is making progress, the High Court has been told.

Last October, the the HSE sought orders allowing it to force feed and provide fluids to the woman, who is being treated at a psychiatric facility outside Dublin.

She cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The HSE launched proceedings after she refused food and fluids for some weeks.

Her doctors feared she could die unless she was given fluids and nourishment.

High Court President, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, granted the HSE orders, including one allowing it to force feed and administer fluids to the woman.

The woman's husband supported the HSE's application.

The court heard the woman, who is in her 40s, didn't want to live due to trauma she suffered in her youth.

Her lawyers said she had been "clear in her instructions" to oppose the HSE's application.

The matter was mentioned before the courts on several occasions.

Mr Justice Kearns today was informed by Shane Costelloe SC, for the HSE,  the woman had been working well with her doctors and was "making progress". 

Counsel said orders made last October by Mr Justice Kearns had saved the woman's life.

In the circumstances, there was consent by all parties to strike out all the orders previously made by the court with liberty to re enter should the need arise.

In striking out the orders, Mr Justice Kearns said he was "very hopeful" the woman's situation would continue to improve.

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