Judge: Severely anorexic patient can refuse force-feedings

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey judge has ruled that a severely anorexic woman who’s been committed to a state psychiatric hospital since 2014 has the right to refuse force-feedings.

The 29-year-old Morris County woman, who weighs 69 pounds, informed the court earlier this month that she doesn’t want food or water and would instead like to enter palliative care.

The state opposed her request, with prosecutors arguing that she isn’t competent due to her chronic depression and that anorexia isn’t a terminal condition.

Doctors testified that the woman was diagnosed with terminal anorexia-nervosa.

The woman’s attorney claimed that her bone density is comparable to a 92-year-old and that she would be at risk for injury if restrained.

The judge found the woman’s testimony to be credible.

It’s unclear whether the state will appeal.