Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa and Futility: A Time for Every Purpose?
The concept of futility in the treatment of individuals with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa remains controversial and has significant legal and ethical considerations. For those who have been unremittingly ill for 8 to 12 years, full recovery, although possible, is unlikely, and alternatives to traditional, active treatment must be explored. The harm reduction model, palliative care, and end-of-life care are explored as meaningful and reasonable treatments for this population. Landmark cases demonstrating the legal and ethical controversy of such treatment are explored.