Man with schizophrenia to receive electroconvulsive therapy, orders court

Teenage girl suffering from anorexia nervosa also ordered to undergo up to 12 ECT sessions

A 62-year-old man suffering from a mental disorder is to receive electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) by order of the High Court after he refused medication and food.

The order permitting the treatment is the second made this week on foot of applications by the HSE.

A 16-year-old girl suffering from anorexia nervosa was earlier this week ordered to undergo up to 12 ECT sessions in order to deal with severe depression.

On Friday, the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, made the second order in the case of the 62-year-old man who has a history of paranoid schizophrenia. He has been a ward of court since 1996.


He was admitted to hospital in March because he required specialist therapeutic care.

He is convinced he is not in a position to swallow, according to the HSE which sought orders for the ECT treatment and to feed him through a nasal tube.

Mr Justice Kelly granted orders allowing up to six sessions of ECT under such minimal sedation as medical personnel deem necessary.

They were also given approval to use such minimal and reasonable force and/or restraint during the administering of the ECT as may be necessary in the best interests of the patient.

The order permits medical personnel to administer nutrition and hydration through a nasogastric tube and insertion of an intravenous cannula for the administration of fluids, medicines and taking of blood samples.

The matter will come back to the court for review in three months.