Hunger strikers should be treated like other patients who refuse consent to treatment

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7028.444a (Published 17 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:444
  1. T J Hardie,
  2. A Reed
  1. Senior registrar in forensic psychiatry Senior lecturer in forensic psychiatry Reaside Clinic, Rubery, Birmingham B45 9BE

    EDITOR,—We see no reason why hunger strikers should not be subject to the same considerations as other patients who refuse to consent to treatment. If this is what George J Annas means by “trying to medicalise the hunger strike” (which he says will not lead to a solution) then we believe that he is mistaken.1 Our legal and ethical responsibilities should not depend on patients' political persuasion any more than they depend on their religious beliefs, as in …

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