Her Anorexia Is 'Late Terminal.' She Won a Fight to Keep It That Way

Judge rules New Jersey cannot force-feed AG
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2016 9:36 AM CST
Updated Nov 27, 2016 7:01 AM CST
Her Anorexia Is 'Late Terminal.' She Won a Fight to Keep It That Way
NJ's Department of Human Services wanted AG to be force-fed using a nasogastric tube.   (Getty Images/meenon)

At age 5, AG started having "anorexic thoughts." Now 29, the New Jersey woman has been diagnosed with late terminal anorexia-nervosa—and she's just won her fight to enter palliative care rather than be force-fed. Since January 2014, AG has been committed to a state psychiatric hospital; beginning this June, the then-60-pound woman was force-fed intravenously for three months at the Morristown Medical Center. The state over the summer went to court to argue AG's depression rendered her incompetent to make decisions about the now-65-pound woman's health and that she should be force-fed using a nasogastric tube and treated with the experimental depression drug Ketamine, reports the Daily Record. But her lawyer, Edward G. D'Alessandro Jr., argued that the force-feedings wouldn't cure her disease.

In what Morris County Judge Paul Armstrong described as "forthright, responsive, knowing, intelligent, voluntary, steadfast and credible" testimony from AG, the woman stated she'd physically fight the feedings, meaning she'd be restrained for each meal, reports the Wall Street Joural. D'Alessandro said that AG's bone density is on par with a 92-year-old's, which raises the real possibility that restraining her could break her bones. In a ruling that ordered AG be transferred to a palliative care unit, Armstrong noted that the woman's parents and doctors, as well as the ethics committee at Morristown Medical Center, agreed with her decision. D'Alessandro says that she could still live for years from the minimal nutrition she gets via binging and purging; she otherwise consumes only diet soda and black coffee. (More anorexia stories.)

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