Should anorexics be force fed to save their lives?

Tracey - posted on 06/23/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )




A 32 year old anorexic woman wants to be allowed to die in peace. She has twice signed legal declarations that she does not want to be frocefully given food or water, and does not want to be resusitated. Her parents have accepted her decision and agree she should have a dignified death surrounded by friends and family.

The judge says she has the possibility of years of life ahead of her and one day may change her mind therefore he is ordering that she is force fed against her will to save her own life.



[deleted account]

Force feeding doesn't cure anything though, it can and often does make the situation worse, anorexia is an illness of control, so by force feeding you are removing control and worsening the situation.

I don't think it would be right to do nothing but I don't think it would help to force feed either. What's the point in treating the symptoms without treating the problem, which is what force feeding does.

[deleted account]

yes they should be. a person who is anorexic has an illness that distorts their thinking. are they suffering with their disease? yes. but in Canada, at least, we don't allow physician assisted suicide and people who have other mental illnesses that affect their thinking are forced to take medication once they are a danger to themselves or others.


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Tracey - posted on 06/26/2012




There is a 50/50 success rate even if they do force feed her. The difference between her and as some people mentioned jumping off a bridge is that there may be a chance to save her whereas a jumper is going to go to a bridge and jump with little or no warning so the opportunity is not there to save them, although some bridges and suicide spots here have large adverts for a counselling service clearly visible.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/25/2012




But she is on the brink of death, now. How will they be able to help her, if she dies from starvation? This is how I am thinking.

I mean, I don't like the idea of force feeding her either but if she is that close to death but needs some serious help, she is only going to get it if she stays alive. She currently cannot think properly. Her brain is being starved. Rational thought, is just not there for her, right now.

If it was my kid, I would want to try to get them as much help as possible. If they were so close to death and the only thing to keep them alive was to force them to eat, so that they could get some good psychological help, then, I think it is worth it.

I feel sad for her. It sure does sound like she has had a very rough life. I can only think she has no idea of how good it can be. She just needs help getting there (lots of it).

Krista - posted on 06/24/2012




The way that I look at it is this way: I am okay with assisted suicide as long as the individual is of sound mind, and is making the decision with a clear head.

Anorexia is not like other diseases -- it is an emotional disease with physical symptoms. So if someone is suffering deeply from it, can we really say that they are of sound mind?

I don't know.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/24/2012




I agree with Rachael. She is suffering from a disease but she also cannot properly assess her situation. She needs a lot of help and she isn't going to get it, if she isn't forced to eat. Instead she will be dead. Sure there is still a big chance of that but there is just as big a chance she won't.

If this were my child, I would be forcing them to eat. I would have some in-depth inpatient care waiting for them, thereafter too. I simply could not live with myself knowing I could have done something more. I don't care if they wanted to just be left alone. That would not be my child talking, that would be the disease and depression they were going through.

This, to me, is no different than a hard core drug addict. They often could careless if they die from overdose. However, family sometimes intervene with an intervention. I have seen drug addicts get help this way and succeed. Good thing their parents/family didn't give up on them so easily. Otherwise, they would have been well missed and not had a chance to see how much they could love life.

[deleted account]

I do think force feeding anyone is immoral but there are gray areas. My best friend in high school almost died twice from complications caused by anorexia.

But I think this judge in this situation is wrong.

Stifler's - posted on 06/23/2012




So next time a person who is suicidal comes in they give them euthanasia to help them die with dignity rather than jump off a bridge? Yeah no.

[deleted account]

She is a grown adult and understands the ramifications of not eating, however with that said she is suffering a mental illness so isnt in a stable state of mind, I agree with dove, mandate counselling and maybe inpatient care but force feeding will not help her at all, in fact it could actually cause more damage.

Denikka - posted on 06/23/2012




You know, this is a hard case to judge.
In a way, I feel like anyone, for any reason, should be allowed to die with dignity in the most peaceful way possible. Obviously they should be counselled and should have to sign legal documents. But it is their life. If they truly want to die, they will find a way. And I think that walking in to find your daughter has used a gun on herself or slit her wrists is a LOT more traumatic than a simple shot where you can say a proper goodbye.
In this particular case, this girl is so far gone. Even IF she recovered (dr's said a 50/50 chance at best), she's going to be left with lifelong, SEVERE health problems. She is going to need a lifetime of councselling. She is most likely going to relapse. More than once. If I remember correctly, anorexia has an insanely high instance of reoccurrence and an high fatality rate anyway. Even if she beats this round and recovers to a healthy weight, the chances of her surviving a relapse is disgustingly low.

I think that as long as a person is aware of the consequences, has been properly counselled, given time to change their mind and especially when they have the support of their family behind them, they should be given the dignity of death. For some people, life truly isn't worth living. Even if the same circumstances might be bearable for someone else, it might not be bearable for this particular person. They should be the ones to make that choice, not someone who has no understanding of the inner workings of that particular persons life.

As I said before, this girl obviously wants to die. She just wants to do it with dignity. But she's going to do it one way or another, whether is happens to be bullet, blade, pills, food restriction or doctor assisted.

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