Health care centres can force-feed anorexic to save life


A Quebec Superior Court justice has granted health authorities the right to force-feed a young woman suffering from anorexia.

Without medical treatment, the 20-year-old woman is in danger of dying, Justice Lise Bergeron wrote in her recently delivered ruling.

Two health-care establishments in Quebec City went to court in July to obtain the right treat the young woman.

Her weight kept decreasing and at one point reached 32 kilograms, health-care workers providing her treatment have said.

The woman refused to eat and did not recognize the danger she was in, her psychiatrist told the court.

On July 12, the two health centres went to court and explained to a judge the woman risked dying within 24 hours if she didn’t receive treatment.

Judge Louis Dionne ruled the woman was unable to consent or reject care, and ordered she be treated for one week.

The woman’s doctors had to return to court on July 19 because she wasn’t getting any better.

Bergeron, faced with evidence presented by doctors indicating there was a significant amount of liquid around the patient’s heart, ordered she be treated against her will.

She also ruled the woman could also be given tranquilizers.

The ruling is applicable for two months.

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