Is judge right to order force feeding of anorexic woman?

A UK judge has ordered the force feeding of a severely anorexic woman against her family's wishes

A 32-year-old female medical student suffering from severe anorexia is to be force fed after a UK judge deemed that she ‘lacked the capacity’ to make decisions about life-saving treatment.

Justice Peter Jackson ruled that it is in the best interests of the patient to be fed forcibly if necessary to sustain her life.

He defended his decision saying, ‘I would not overrule her wishes if further treatment was futile, but it is not. There is a possibility that it will succeed.’

The patient started controlling her eating at 11-years-old and hasn’t taken in solid food for over a year. She is currently in a community hospital with a BMI of 11.3, where she is being cared for with the purpose of letting her die comfortably.

‘Albeit gravely unwell, she is not incurable,’ says Justice Jackson. But her family believe she should have the right to choose her own path free from fear of enforcement and restraint.

‘We feel she has suffered enough,’ they say. ‘She stands no hope of achieving the things that she would value in her life and shows no signs of revising these aspirations.’

Does a judge have the right to force a mentally ill girl to eat? Or should she be allowed to choose her own fate? Let Marie Claire know your thoughts by posting a comment below.


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