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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Seriously ill woman with eating disorder opposes being made ward of court

Earlier this week, the High Court made orders allowing the HSE to take steps aimed at saving the woman’s life.


A WOMAN WHO is seriously ill in hospital arising out of an eating disorder is opposed to being made a ward of court, the High Court heard today.

Earlier this week, the court made orders allowing the HSE to take steps aimed at saving the woman’s life.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has suffered from various illnesses since childhood and is currently being treated for Anorexia nervosa in a hospital.

She is described as being very underweight with a dangerously low Body Mass Index. (BMI).

The HSE claims that her life is at risk and that she lacks insight and capacity to fully understand what is happening to her or how ill she really is.

Her doctor’s fears were heightened because of efforts she has been making to try and leave the hospital, where the medics say she needs to be.

As a result, earlier this week the HSE, represented by Patrica Hill Bl applied for and secured High Court orders allowing it to detain the woman in the hospital and apply treatments that her physicians believe are necessary to save her life.

The orders allow doctors to apply treatments they believe she requires including provide her with nourishment and fluids by nasal gastric tube and through intravenous lines.

Other orders include granting the gardaí the power to return her to the hospital she is being treated at if she should leave. The HSE has also brought proceedings aimed at making the woman a ward of court.

The matter returned before the High Court today when Justice Michael McGrath was told by David Leahy Bl for the woman’s court-appointed guardian that she is opposed to being made a ward of court.

Counsel said that while all the evidence in the case to date pointed in one direction, the woman had informed the guardian that she believes the wardship application is “overbearing and unnecessary”.

Counsel said that an independent medical visitor will assess the woman shortly, counsel said.

Hill Bl for the HSE said that the woman has stabilised since the orders were made, and asked the court to continue the orders for a further period.

The judge after agreeing to keep the orders in place, and adjourned the matter to a date in October.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

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About the author:

Aodhan O'Faolain & Ray Managh

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