Re W (Medical Treatment: Anorexia)  EWCOP 13,  MHLO 35
"In this case, Miss W, a young woman aged 28, has suffered from a severe and enduring eating disorder for 20 years, with physical, social and psychological consequences of the kind described above. In this judgment I will call her W. Since the age of 11, she has had six admissions for inpatient treatment, spread between five units around the country and amounting to about 10 years in total. Her current admission has lasted for 2½ years and yet, despite the most intensive support, she is barely eating and is losing weight at the rate of 500 g – 1 kg per week. She now weighs less than 30 kg and her BMI is 12.6. If she continues to lose weight at this rate, she will die. ... The outcome is that, accepting the unanimous professional view, I approve the plan of the Health Board. This is that W should now be discharged into the community with a closely thought-out package of support for her and her family. Given W's fragile condition, it is a plan that has only been arrived at after the most anxious consideration by her care team. It will at first seem counterintuitive that someone so ill should be discharged from hospital. The conventional assumption is that hospital treatment is likely to bring benefits, but the evidence has persuaded me that in this case that is not so. The outcome is to some extent in accordance with W's wishes, which I will describe below."