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New bill on force feeding prisoners poses medical dilemma for Israel’s doctors

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3304 (Published 16 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3304
  1. Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
  1. 1Jerusalem

Israel’s doctors are finding themselves caught between their ethical obligations as doctors and a government bill likely to become law that would require them to force feed prisoners who go on hunger strikes that endanger their lives. Currently four Palestinian prisoners are refusing to eat solid food, and one has been admitted to hospital in a weak condition.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right wing cabinet approved on Sunday 14 June the decision to revive the bill, which was dropped in the previous 19th Knesset (parliament) last year because of strong opposition by the Israel Medical Association. But the government has rushed it through so it can go through the legislative process’s official readings.

The association’s …

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