Judge rules that anorexic woman can starve herself to death

The culture of death continues to grow in this country. A particularly disturbing example comes out of Morristown, New Jersey, where a judge has ruled that an anorexic woman can legally commit suicide by starving herself to death.

Judge Paul Armstrong ruled that a 29-year-old woman known as “A.G.” should be referred to palliative care and not have to undergo force-feeding against her will. A.G. is severely anorexic, and weighs somewhere between 60 and 69 pounds. She has been fighting a “near-lifelong” battle with anorexia, yet A.G. and those around her do not want her to undergo force-feeding. “The lessons of the landmark cases of Karen Ann Quinlan, Clare Conroy, Nancy Ellen Jobes, Kathleen Farrell, Hilda Peter, and Nancy Cruzan are that patients, their families, physicians, and their institutions remain proper cooperators in making the evolving and necessary difficult decisions fronting modern medicine,” Armstrong said.

In addition to anorexia, A.G. is also battling depression and alcoholism.

New Jersey’s Department of Human Services, which operates the psychiatric facility where A.G. is being treated, wanted A.G. to have a nasogastric tube placed to feed her, as well as administer an experimental treatment for her depression. Armstrong said that A.G. has a “dire diagnosis and poor prognosis,” yet wanted to “live freely” without being bothered by anyone. She currently subsists on Diet Coke, black coffee, and the occasional bite of food. “A.G. expressed an unequivocal desire to accept palliative care as suggested by her treating physician and the bioethics committee at Morristown Medical Center. This decision was made by A.G. with a clear understanding that death was or could be the possible outcome,” Armstrong said.

Dr. Jeanne Kerwin, palliative care manager for Atlantic Health Systems, explained that the bioethics committee, along with A.G.’s parents and her health care practitioners, all agreed that as A.G. was not likely to overcome anorexia, it was essentially best to just give up on her, and let her die. “It was the long-term prognosis. We thought the benefits did not outweigh the burdens,” Kerwin testified. Yet the claim is being made that A.G. is being allowed to basically commit passive suicide because she is mentally competent to make the decision to starve herself to death.

A judge has therefore ruled that a mentally ill woman who struggles with substance abuse and anorexia, who has said that she is prepared to die, is competent enough to decide that she can starve herself to death.

This is the very problem with legalizing assisted suicide and with allowing abortion to be legal. This is the fruit of the culture of death… that a woman suffering from numerous mental health disorders is abandoned by the legal and medical community and essentially left for dead.

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