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Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust v AB

Date:3 DEC 2020
Third slide
Head of Surrogacy, Adoption, Fertility & Modern Family

The issue in this case concerned AB’s capacity to make specific decisions about treatment relating to her anorexia nervosa. She was 28 years old and had suffered with anorexia since the age of 13 when she was first diagnosed. All treatment including nasogastric tube feeding (which was the only life-prolonging treatment left available to her) had failed her weight was now incompatible with life (with a body mass index of 9.7 and weighing 4 stone) and she wished to stop treatment.

Significantly and usually it was agreed and accepted at the outset that AB had the capacity to conduct litigation for the purposes of these proceedings. She had conducted her own litigation and the Official Solicitor had no role. 

The court heard how the only treatment left for AB was coercive nasogastric tube feeding which would cause her enormous trauma put her at significant physical risk and even be fatal. If physical restraints were to be avoided she would require heavy sedation for the insertion of the tube. For this feeding treatment to have any prospect of success she would need to be hospitalised...

Read the full article here.