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Force feeding at Guantanamo breaches ethics, doctors say

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7541.569-c (Published 09 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:569
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    Military doctors who participate in the force feeding of detainees at the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay who are on hunger strike are breaching established medical ethics, claims a letter signed by 262 doctors and published in this week's Lancet (2006;367: 811.

    The signatories, mostly from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States, argue that the World Medical Association's Declarations of Tokyo and Malta specifically prohibit force feeding. The American Medical Association is a signatory to both declarations.

    “Fundamental to doctors' responsibilities in attending a hunger striker is the recognition that prisoners have a right to refuse treatment,” the letter states. “The UK government …

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