Court hears woman with anorexia making progress

Thursday 05 June 2014 23.42
The court heard that force feeding has not been necessary
The court heard that force feeding has not been necessary

The High Court has heard that a young woman who was in "grave danger" due to severe anorexia nervosa has made significant progress.

The court made an order a week ago allowing the 26-year-old woman to be fed through a tube against her wishes.

But the court heard, so far, the force feeding has not been necessary.

Senior Counsel Tim O'Leary for the Health Service Executive, said there had been an increase in the young woman's weight and she was complying voluntarily with doctors and taking oral supplements.

However, he asked the court to continue the orders made at the end of last month as the young woman's doctors believed she was complying with them because of the High Court orders.

Her father told the court that if his daughter's progress continued it was likely she would be fit to be discharged from hospital in about two weeks.

But he said when this had happened previously, she had been released by the HSE without any back-up plan.

He asked that this time the HSE have a plan in place for her care after she is discharged.

He told the court that this might be her parents' last chance.

Lawyers for the young woman submitted a 15-page letter to the court and also requested that she give evidence to the judge.

A psychiatric assessment carried out on her behalf found that she did not have the capacity to understand her illness.

The High Court President, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, continued the orders he had made previously and also directed the HSE to have a plan available for the court on 18 June when the matter will be before the court again.

He said the court would hear evidence from the young woman if this became necessary.

Separately, the court heard that another young woman with anorexia is to be discharged from hospital today.

The court had granted orders in January allowing her to be fed through a tube after being told she would die if she did not get this treatment.

The court heard that she had put on weight and had maintained it.

The court was told she was thinking clearly and understood the need for nutrition to stay well.

The court heard she needed support to show her that she would be able to go home and would attend hospital on a daily basis even after she is discharged.

Her lawyers told the court this was "a good news story".