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Severely anorexic woman should be force fed, judge rules

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e4232 (Published 19 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4232
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A severely anorexic former medical student who failed for years to respond to treatment and was being allowed to die should be force fed, a High Court judge has ruled in an unprecedented case.

The 32 year old woman, named only as E, was five weeks into an end of life care pathway when her local authority in Wales made an emergency application to the Court of Protection in London for her situation to be investigated.

Her parents and the clinicians caring for her had concluded that E, who had not taken any solid food for more than a year and whose body mass index had been between 11 and 12 for the past two years, should not have artificial feeding forced on her again.

E had been seriously sexually …

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