Intended for healthcare professionals


Woman with anorexia is discharged after doctors say that she is untreatable

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 08 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2038
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A High Court judge has authorised the discharge of a 28 year old woman with anorexia nervosa into the community after 10 years of inpatient treatment failed to stop her starving herself.

The woman, referred to as W, weighed less than 30 kg and had been losing weight at the rate of 0.5 to 1 kg a week. Her history showed that she would eat only when she believed that she might be in imminent danger of death.

The judge, Peter Jackson, acknowledged that “it would at first seem counterintuitive that someone so ill should be discharged from hospital.” He added, “The conventional assumption is that hospital treatment is likely to bring benefits, but the evidence has persuaded me that in this case that is not so.”

Her latest …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription