UK Court: Anorexic Woman Should Be Force-Fed

Judge says it's in best interests of woman, who is near death
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2012 6:45 AM CDT
A British court has ruled that a woman suffering from extreme anorexia can be force fed in an attempt to save her life.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A 32-year-old suffering from extreme anorexia was ordered yesterday by a British court to be force-fed in order to save her life, reports the Guardian. Several people who know the woman asked that she be left to die a "dignified death," but the judge ruled that she lacked the capacity to make a proper judgment about her own treatment. While the judge recognized the woman's right to live her own life independently, "it is lawful and in her best interests for her to be fed, forcibly if necessary."

The woman, a former medical student, has not eaten any solid food in more than a year, and now has a body-mass index of just 11.3 (normal is about 20, while less than 15 is considered severely underweight), according to the Telegraph. After such an extreme starvation diet, the unnamed woman reportedly has only a 20% chance of living, even if forced to eat, an invasive treatment that could last up to a year. "E is a special person, whose life is of value," wrote the judge. "She does not see it that way now, but she may in future." (Read more anorexia stories.)

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