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Inside the Ethics Committee
Wednesdays 29 Aug, 05 & 12 Sep 2007 8.00-8.45pm
Repeated Saturdays 01, 08 & 15 Sep 2007 10.15-11.00pm
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Wed 05 September 2007 (rpt Sat) 
Listen to this programme in full
Vivienne Parry returns with a third series of Inside the Ethics Committee. She is joined by a panel of experts, who sit on clinical ethics committees, to discuss real-life medical cases.
Full Programme Transcript >>

Programme 2 – Can a patient with Anorexia Nervosa be offered palliative care?

Should Kate, a young woman with anorexia nervosa, be allowed to refuse treatment and be allowed to die? To stop assisted feeding and opt for having palliative care in a hospice?

In the second programme of Inside the Ethics Committee, Vivienne Parry is joined by a panel of experts to discuss Kate’s case.

Kate has had Anorexia Nervosa since her early teens and has had more than 10 years of treatment with limited success. She finds the treatment process extremely difficult and can’t face the prospect of having any more.

She has been at a healthy weight but only after being tube fed under sedation. She wants to go to a hospice instead of more treatment.

How much is someone with a mental illness like Anorexia Nervosa able to make decisions about refusing treatment and when do those decisions have to be overridden?

Ethical issues

- Is Kate able to make a valid decision about her treatment? Does having a mental illness like Anorexia Nervosa stop that being possible?

- Is palliative care ever appropriate for someone who doesn’t have a terminal illness?

- Should Kate be treated without her consent using the Mental Health Act?

The panel

- Dr Anne Stewart, Consultant Adolescent Psychiatrist with a special interest in eating disorders. She chairs the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Trust Clinical Ethics Committee.
- Simona Giordano, Senior Lecturer in Bioethics and expert in the ethics of Psychiatry.
- Dr Jacinta Tan, Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the Ethox Centre, University of Oxford. Visiting member of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Trust Clinical Ethics Committee.

Programme 1: Treatment decisions for people who can’t give informed consent

Archive: Series 1
Archive: Series 2

More information:
BBC Health: Eating disorders
The Eating Disorders Association
NHS Direct: Eating disorders
UK Clinical Ethics Network
Leaflets and information from the Royal College of Psychiatrists about eating disorders
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