Debate Brief

Topics: Nutrition, Body dysmorphic disorder, Eating disorders Pages: 3 (1055 words) Published: December 1, 2014
Taylor Sipchen (p.3)
Jackie Han (p.6)

Debate Brief
I. Attention getter and importance of this issue
A. The first case of attempted force-feeding was of a 32-year-old former medical

student from Whales, known as “E”. She had a BMI of 11-12, while the normal BMI is 18-25. She did not want to die, but she did not want to be fed. The second case was of an anorexic known as “L”. She too, did not want to die but she stated that her severe anorexia did not allow her to eat. (Cite #1) B. Force-feeding or starving to death? This is an appalling choice, but it is a choice. Force-feeding is the practice of feeding a person against their will. For this to be legal it has to be done with patients consent, however, weight restoration by force cannot actually solve any underlying problems that are psychological in nature. Force-feeding is undignified. The European Convention on Human Rights prohibits ‘degrading’ treatment in article 3. The patients’ right to refuse treatment should be respected even if they are mentally ill.


II. Background/History of the Issue
A. Force-feeding is technically illegal as it alludes to the feeding of patients without consent.
B. As the patient’s competence is subtly impaired, the still have the legal right to choose.
C. Palliative care means the prevention of suffering of patients. D. Compulsory treatment or involuntary commitment is a legal process through which an individual with symptoms of severe mental illness is court-ordered into treatment in a hospital (Inpatient) or in the community (outpatient) III. Proposition: Sufferers of anorexia nervosa should be force-fed. IV. Main arguments for the Affirmative side (PRO)

A. Life is more important than dignity.
B. Force feeding can help psychologically.
C. Anorexic patients are not able to make the decision for themselves. V. Main arguments for the Negative Side (CON)
A. Compulsory treatment is not a long-term solution
B. Anorexics need to be able to trust their doctors
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