Ethical re-evaluation of contemporary treatments for anorexia nervosa: Is an aspirational stance possible in practice?

Izabella Fedyszyn, Gavin Brent Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Anorexia nervosa is a complex disorder that occurs mainly among young women and evokes strong reactions in treating health professionals. While the reactions of psychologists are shaped by treatment guidelines, considerations of professional practice and theories of anorexia, ethical features of contemporary treatment have not been explicitly or critically examined. This paper examines representations of current best and evidence-based practice that are often motivated by a well-intentioned, but limited, risk-reduction perspective. An alternative approach, based on an aspirational ethical stance, is presented along with detailed arguments as to how optimal care for all individuals with the disorder can be achieved. The implications of this stance are specifically explored with regard to the heterogeneity of anorexia, in relation to the chronic course of the disorder and with regard to alternatives that could be described as palliative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198 - 211
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Cite this