Five-stone woman to be force fed after High Court decision

A young woman with anorexia is to be force fed following a decision in the High Court.

The 22-year-old weighs just five stone. A doctor has said she will die without urgent medical intervention.

The HSE made the application supported by her parents, after the woman refused four out of seven nutritional supplements in the previous 24 hours.

She is to be fed through a tube, after Judge Nicholas Kearns ruled that those caring for her are dealing with a life-or-death situation.

The woman has said she does not want to die.

Barrister and former doctor Simon Mills said the courts generally took the view, in the case of anorexia, that the refusal of food was effectively involuntary and was happening because anorexia is a disease.

"Because the refusal is involuntary, courts have tended to hold that the refusal is invalid and that doctors can therefore, if necessary to save the person's life, give treatment."

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