Charlie - posted on 03/30/2011 ( 55 moms have responded )
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder defined as severe, self- inflicted starvation and loss in body weight to at least 15% below that expected for the individual’s sex and height. In the UK (and many other western countries) anorexia nervosa is classified as a mental illness. Anorexia nervosa should not be confused with Bulimia (cycles of bingeing and vomiting). Anorexia is typically associated with women and body image and is thought to be made worse by unrealistic media portrayals of the female body. Having said this, one in ten sufferers is male. Mortality varies between 5% and 18%. Anorexia nervosa has been detected in patients from 6 to 76 years of age and has a far higher incidence in the Developed World, affecting 1% of female adolescents.Patients who are dangerously thin are sometimes force-fed through a naso-gastric (through the nose) tube. Normally, medical treatment cannot be administered without the consent of the patient, however, in the case of mentally ill patients, their distorted perceptions of reality may render them unable to make a choice. Despite this, medical ethics, pragmatics and human rights call the treatment into question.
Should the medical profession force-feed anorexics as part of their treatment?