"We only live once – we are born once and we die once – and the difference between life and death is the biggest difference we know" - Peter Jackson J
In the Court of Protection, Peter Jackson J has given judgment in A Local Authority v E  EWHC 1639 (COP). See The Guardian 15th June 2012 - "Anorexic woman should be fed against her wishes, judge rules" - and listen to Dr Tony Calland of the British Medical Association Ethics Committee.
whether it was in the best interests of E - (a woman, aged 32, with severe anorexia) - to be allowed to die even though she was neither terminally ill nor in a persistent vegetative state. E suffered from a number of conditions described as "a triad of anorexia, alcoholism and personality disorder." When the local authority brought the case to court, E was close to death and was following a palliative care pathway, agreed by her family and treating clinicians. The poignant history of E's life is set out at paragraphs 16 to 22 and her medical conditions are described at para.23.
Para.65 is worthy of note by practitioners in relation to assessing the mental capacity of a patient who wishes to make an advance decision. The judge said: "Against such an alerting background, a full, reasoned and contemporaneous assessment evidencing mental capacity to make such a momentous decision would in my view be necessary. No such assessment occurred in E's case and I think it at best doubtful that a through investigation at the time would have reached the conclusion that she had capacity."
It is interesting to note the judge's observations (para. 17) relating to how E had been "treated in the community" as a result of the failure of the residential placements and the unavailability of further funding. This led to a ‘revolving door’ series of emergency admissions for medical and psychiatric care, often after she was found in a collapsed state after drinking as much as a bottle of spirits a day. A person such as E, with anorexia of the most severe and intractable kind, is incapable of recovery without major medical intervention (para. 26).
Advance Decisions to refuse treatment - NHS Guide for Health and Social Care Professionals
Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa against the patient's will: Ethical considerations - Tomas J Silber - George Washington University.
CharonQC 18th June 2012 - "The right to sign our own 'death sentence', The right to die and to refuse medical treatment or intervention."
Update 19th June - Daniel Sokol - As hard as it gets: the case of anorexic E and the right to die - The Guardian 19th June
Update 19th June - Richard Mumford - Judge orders that anorexic woman can be force fed: analysis - UK Human Rights blog