Letter: A 16-year-old's right to choose

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The Independent Online
Sir: With reference to your headline 'Anorexic fights for right to refuse cure' (30 June), I wish to point out that it is not the cure, but the treatment offered, that is being refused. Force feeding is not a cure for anorexia, a fact that is perhaps proved by looking at the result of the previous force feeding of the patient concerned, which was a temporary weight gain that was reversed when the patient was released from that regime.

Anorexia is a complex disorder, Ms J's wish to remain in control is her way of coping with problems. All that force feeding on its own does is to remove that coping mechanism, and mask the underlying psychological problems of the patient, often leaving them in an almost intolerable situation.

Yours faithfully,


Southend-on-Sea, Essex

30 June