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Anorexic student to be force fed by tube

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A 21-YEAR-OLD student whose weight has dropped to 36kgs is to be force fed by order of the High Court.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns made the order to allow the woman to be fed through a tube over the next 48 hours when he heard the anorexia nervosa sufferer began refusing food at the weekend and is now in "danger of losing her life".

The woman, who cannot be identified, is significantly underweight and suffers from severe psychotic depression, hears a critical voice saying she is obese and believes she does not deserve to live, the court heard.

Peter Finlay SC, for the HSE, said the woman's father, who was in court, supported the HSE application.

Counsel said she was a very intelligent lady but had been re-admitted to hospital in September where she told staff how in previous weigh-ins she had concealed weights in her clothing.

A consultant psychiatrist, in an affidavit, said the woman had also begun over-exercising and in the space of three weeks had lost 17pc of her body weight.

She disguised her weight and when admitted back to hospital her body mass index (BMI) was 12, which the court heard was a critical level.

delusions

The psychiatrist said the woman last month suffered severe psychotic depression. She believed she did not deserve to be treated and has delusions that she is fat.

Over last weekend she did not take any food at all.

Making the interim order which allows medics to use minimal and reasonable restraint if required, Mr Justice Kearns said it was a crisis emergency situation and he appreciated the difficult time it was for the woman's family.

The case will come before the court again next week.

hnews@herald.ie


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