Ireland: Woman 'in bed for four years' was 'on the brink of death', court hears - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Ireland Woman 'in bed for four years' was 'on the brink of death', court hears

12:45  12 october  2019
12:45  12 october  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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A woman appears to have remained in bed for almost four years before presenting to hospital malnourished and “ on the brink of death ”, the president of the High Court has heard . “Even by the standards of awfulness I have to deal with on a daily basis, this is one of the worst cases I have ever

A woman appears to have remained in bed for almost four years before presenting to hospital malnourished and “ on the brink of death ”, the president of the High Court has heard . “Even by the standards of awfulness I have to deal with on a daily basis, this is one of the worst cases I have ever

a man wearing a suit and tie: 'In his ruling, Mr Justice Kelly said, while the woman’s awful physical condition has improved, she remains at high risk of cardiac arrest.' Photo: Frank McGrath 'In his ruling, Mr Justice Kelly said, while the woman’s awful physical condition has improved, she remains at high risk of cardiac arrest.' Photo: Frank McGrath

A woman appears to have remained in bed for almost four years before presenting to hospital malnourished and "on the brink of death", the president of the High Court has heard.

"Even by the standards of awfulness I have to deal with, this is one of the worst cases I have ever encountered," Mr Justice Peter Kelly said.

The woman, aged in her thirties, was living at home with her mother in "horrendous conditions". She seemed to have been spoon fed by her mother and to have refused to leave the bed from late 2015, even for bodily functions and she used a cloth in the bed for urine and bowel motions.

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What was "truly distressing" was suggestions a GP had provided certificates of her sickness at her mother's request without having seen her during that time, the judge said. It also appeared there were prescriptions for medications.

Those matters, if true, will fall to be investigated by the Medical Council, he said.

On the application of the HSE, the High Court had made emergency orders on September 23 allowing doctors treat the woman in circumstances where she was refusing to allow tests and treatments.

When the case returned before Mr Justice Kelly yesterday, Donal McGuinness, for the HSE, noted, when the woman was first admitted, she was on the brink of death and in renal failure. Her weight was 28kg. Since admission, her weight has risen by 5kg but she remains critical.

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The woman's court-appointed guardian said the woman had been living at home with her mother, seemingly in "very dire" circumstances. It seemed the woman was "tricked" by her mother into going to the GP in 2011 when both gave different accounts concerning the daughter's condition, counsel said.

Michael Ramsey, for the guardian, said the woman seems to have a psychiatric condition which seems to have been untreated for some years.

The last time she seemed to have come to the HSE's attention in relation to psychiatric issues seemed to be 2011 and issues arose as to how she "fell through the cracks" of the services and reached the point of being on the brink of death.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Kelly said, while the woman's awful physical condition has improved, she remains at high risk of cardiac arrest. Her psychiatric condition was "doubtful" and the medical evidence suggests she lacks capacity.

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