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Saturday, 02 September 2017

Judge agrees artificial nutrition for mentally ill man who swallows sharp items

Written by Brian Farmer

A mentally ill man who swallows sharp objects and has suffered damage to his intestines is to receive artificial nutrition after being at the centre of litigation in a specialist court.

Doctors fear the man could die without treatment but say he lacks the mental capacity to make decisions.

Hospital bosses have asked a judge to approve a treatment plan.

The case has been analysed in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions.

Mr Justice Baker approved the treatment plan drawn up by specialists following a hearing in London.

Doctors say they plan a procedure which will allow the man to be given artificial nutrition.

They told the judge that his condition would then be reviewed in the near future, with lawyers representing the man agreeing to the plan.

Mr Justice Baker said the case was "very unusual" and nothing could be reported which might identify the man.

The judge described the man as "young" and said he was being treated at a hospital in the Midlands.

Barrister Fiona Paterson represented the hospital trust with responsibility for the man's treatment and outlined detail of doctors' plans to the judge.

She said the man had a history of self-harming.

Conrad Hallin represented the man, taking instructions from staff at the office of the Official Solicitor, who help vulnerable people unable to make their own decisions.

Mr Hallin told the judge the case was "extremely difficult" for doctors to manage.

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