Mother in law refusing to eat

Hi. My mother in law is in her early 50s and seems to have given up. She has been in bed for a year and a half, she was quite independent up to 2 years ago when she then moved in with her daughter and family. She has suffered from depression and has tried to take her life a few times now, including driving her wheelchair down very steep stairs of a shopping centre. She is now refusing to eat or drink and has had nothing since Saturday (the same day her 3rd grandchild was born). She has put a note on her bed saying that she refuses all medical treatment and today has been planning her funeral. We have tried calling NHS 24 but as we are not there (me and my husband live 3hrs away) they could not help. We have told my sister and law to call but she says the doctors and nurses say just spend time with her she’s going to do it no matter what. Surely they must do something? They section anorexic people etc, can they really just sit back and let this happen? Has anyone else been through this? What can we do? I am just really starting to learn about MS as I was actually diagnosed with RRMS 2 years ago.

Hello anon

A family member could instigate the sectioning of your mother-in-law on mental health rounds. Of course a psychiatric team would have to assess her. If she is found to be of sound mind and capable of making an informed choice, then sadlly, there is not much that can be done.

It’s difficult for you because like you say, you are not there every day, seeing her behaviour. Do you know how much input has been put in regarding your mother-in-laws emotional/mental health needs? have you discussed this as a family?

Perhaps a family meeting would be helpful and a group meeting with her Doctor/nurses, so you have a clearer picture.

It is a worrying time and I wish you well in trying to find a solution.