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Anorexic woman in legal fight against being sent to England for treatment

Published 27/07/2015

The judge imposed a ban on naming the woman because of her mental health
The judge imposed a ban on naming the woman because of her mental health

An anorexic woman from Northern Ireland has launched a legal bid to block attempts to have her sent for further treatment in England.

The patient, who cannot be identified, is currently being detained at a specialist unit under mental health legislation.

Her lawyers issued emergency judicial review proceedings at the High Court in Belfast today after discovering she was about to be transferred against her wishes.

But the challenge was put on hold after the health trust involved in the case gave an undertaking not to move the woman to England until a separate tribunal meets to decide her status.

A mental health review panel is expected to determine on Friday whether she should remain in the unit.

If the tribunal decides her detention is still necessary the legal battle over the transfer to England will resume in court next week.

Lord Justice Gillen was told today that the woman is in a "fairly chronic state of health".

However, she is opposing a decision that she should be moved from Northern Ireland to undergo continued treatment.

The case was adjourned following the pledge given on behalf of the trust.

Counsel for the woman, Alan Kane QC, successfully sought anonymity for her based on her right to privacy, medical condition and current status.

"This is a lady who is presently a detained person under the Mental Health Order," he told the court.

"Given that she's still there and still subject to the tribunal hearing, for her details to appear with her identity at this stage might not be helpful in terms of her health."

The judge imposed a ban on naming either the woman or the trust.

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