A young woman with bipolar I disorder and comorbid catatonia on enteral nutrition from several months, developed a form of near-lethal catatonia with weight loss, pressure sores, muscle atrophy, electrolyte imbalance, and depression of vital signs. A compulsory treatment was necessary, and informed consent was obtained from her mother for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). After 7 ECT sessions, the patient recovered and resumed feeding. ECT may save the life of a patient with catatonia provided that legal obstacles are overcome. Clinicians should carefully evaluate patients with near-lethal catatonia, taking into account the risk of pulmonary embolism and other fatal events. The medical-legal issues, which vary across state regulations, should be addressed in detail to avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful delay in intervention.