The Health Service Executive has asked the High Court for orders allowing it to force feed and administer fluids to a woman who wishes to be allowed die.

The woman, who is currently being treated at a psychiatric facility outside Dublin, has not eaten, and has barely taken any fluids in two weeks.

Her doctors fear she could die in a matter of days if she does not immediately increase her intake of fluids.

Lawyers for the woman, who suffers from a number of mental health conditions caused by her being sexually abused as a child, told the court she is "clear in her instructions" to oppose the HSE's application.

The woman, who is in her 40s, no longer wants to live because she is so traumatised by the abuse she suffered.

Three medical professionals, including a consultant physician and a consultant psychiatrist who have treated her, say she lacks the mental capacity to make such a decision.

However, another consultant psychiatrist disagrees and says the woman is fully aware of what she has chosen to do. 

The woman's husband is supporting the HSE's application.

Yesterday High Court President Nicholas Kearns granted the HSE an interim order allowing it to administer fluids only to the woman.

The judge granted the temporary order after being informed the woman's extremely low intake of fluids, which in recent days is approx 130mls per day, could result in organ failure and death "within days".

The Judge adjourned the application to force feed the woman to early next week to allow the woman discuss matters with her husband, speak with a medical professional who has been treating her, and consult with her legal team.

The president said he would assess the situation again as soon as these steps had have been attended to. 

Describing the case as being tragic and unusual Mr Justice Kearns said the case raised an issue that has never come before the Irish Courts before. 

The Judge also ordered that nothing be reported in the media to identify the woman.

Lawyers for the woman said her instructions were "quite clear" that she was opposed to the orders allowing the HSE to force feed her by way of nasogastric tube or by a gastric tube known as a PEG.   

Michael Ramsay said his client wished to be allowed to "continue along the path she has chosen".

He said any attempt to force feed her would be very traumatic for her, and asked the court to adjourn the case to allow her lawyers take more detailed instructions from her.

Lawyers for the HSE said the court was in "an invidious position" where it had to decide against competing rights.

Senior Counsel, Shane Costello said on one hand there is her right to bodily integrity, while on the other there was her right to life.

The crux of the case was whether she has the mental capacity to take the decision that would effectively end her life.

He said the woman suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, an emotional disorder, and eating disorders because she was sexually abused by an older male for several years during her childhood.

She was admitted to hospital after a number of incidents of self harm.

Despite the best efforts of medical professionals her situation had not improved. 

Over the last several months her food and fluid intake had dropped. She had been feed via a nasogastric tube up until late September.

Since the tube was removed she has barely eaten or taken fluids. She has expressed her wish to those treating her that she be allowed die. 

Medical professionals involved in her treatment had assessed the woman and had come to the conclusion she lacked the capacity to make this decision, counsel said.

A consultant psychiatric who has been treating the woman said the pain and trauma caused by the abuse she suffered is so severe it has resulted in her lacking the mental capacity to make the decision to not take food or drink.

In his evidence he said he would not have attended court if he believed she had the capacity to take the decision. 

He said he was not without hope for her future prospect of recovery if the court granted the orders allowing the HSE to force feed her.

However, another consultant psychiatrist who assessed the woman said she was fully aware of the facts and is "quite clear" in her decision to end her life.

He disagreed with his colleagues and said he did not believe she lacks the mental capacity to take the decision she has.

He also told the court the woman was aware of the consequences of her decision and the impact it would have on her family.

He also told the court that people can, even with full capacity, make decisions that are "foolish" and go against medical advice.