Saturday 16 December 2017

High Court orders anorexic woman (27) to be fed against her wishes

The Four Courts
The Four Courts

Tim Healy

A 27-YEAR-old woman with severe anorexia nervosa is to be fed against her wishes by order of the High Court.

The woman, who has a body mass index (BMI) count which the court heard is  "clinically dangerous", was the subject of a similar order last year and she was later fed through a tube.

The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns who heard the emergency application earlier today, said it was a "deeply worrying situation."

"We can only hope and pray this will turn things around," the judge said.

Mr Justice Kearns allowed the HSE to re-enter court proceedings in the case and granted orders allowing the woman to be transferred from the the current facility she is in to a general hospital to be fed.

A consultant psychiatrist told the court the woman had a BMI of less than 12 and her condition has gradually deteriorated.

He said she was not adhering in any way to taking the nutrients required and was exercising to excess.

She lacked insight and did not think she suffered from anorexia nervosa.

The psychiatrist also said she needed to be fed nutrients and the feeding programme would need to last about eight weeks.

The woman's father told the court he and his wife supported the HSE application.

The case will come before the court again next month.

Last May the High Court issued a feeding order when it heard the woman weighed  27kg and was at "grave risk" of malnutrition and irreversible liver injury due to severe anorexia nervosa.

Doctors treating the woman, who has suffered from eating disorders since aged 12, believed the feeding treatment was vital to safeguard her life and health and to ensure she was taken out of "grave danger."

In October, the court was told the woman's situation had improved  and no further orders were required.

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