Belfast Telegraph

Northern Irish anorexic woman will continue fight against treatment in England, court hears

By Alan Erwin

An anorexic woman from Northern Ireland is to press ahead with a legal fight against being sent to England for further treatment, the High Court heard today.

Her lawyers confirmed the challenge will continue following a decision to keep her detained at a specialist unit under mental health legislation.

Barrister Alan Kane QC told the judge: "This case raises important issues concerning the transfer of anorexic patients to England.

"There are issues about the impact and lack of funding for treatment of anorexic sufferers here in Northern Ireland."

The woman, who cannot be identified, launched emergency judicial review proceedings last week.

Her legal action against being taken to English facilities against her wishes was put on hold pending the outcome of a mental health review tribunal meeting to decide her status.

Mr Justice Stephens was told today that after sitting last Friday the woman's continued detention was authorised.

The health trust involved in the case has given an undertaking not to move her until the legal challenge is decided.

Described as being in a "fairly chronic state of health", the woman is opposed to being taken from Northern Ireland for further treatment.

Seeking more time for both sides to prepare for the case, Mr Kane stressed that his client's health would not be further jeopardised by any adjournment.

"The doctors are able to cater for her adequately," he said.

"There's nothing of any serious or immediate threat to her health or deterioration now she's in continued detention."

Mr Justice Stephens listed the judicial review application, which is being taken against both the trust and Department of Health, for hearing in September.

He added: "I'm also grateful that people are looking to the care and treatment of the individual."

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