Gitmo is having a hunger strike problem:
As of Tuesday morning, 100 of the 166 prisoners at Guantánamo were officially deemed by the military to be participating in the hunger strike, with 21 “approved” to be fed the nutritional supplement Ensure through tubes inserted through their noses.
“We will not allow a detainee to starve themselves to death, and we will continue to treat each person humanely,” said Lt. Col. Samuel House, the prison spokesman.
The military’s response to the hunger strike has revived complaints by medical ethics groups that contend that doctors — and nurses under their direction — should not force-feed prisoners who are mentally competent to decide not to eat.
Last week, the president of the American Medical Association, Dr. Jeremy A. Lazarus, wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel saying that any doctor who participated in forcing a prisoner to eat against his will was violating “core ethical values of the medical profession.”
“Every competent patient has the right to refuse medical intervention, including life-sustaining interventions,” Dr. Lazarus wrote.
He also noted that the A.M.A. endorses the World Medical Association’s Tokyo Declaration, a 1975 statement forbidding doctors to use their medical knowledge to facilitate torture. It says that if a prisoner makes “an unimpaired and rational judgment” to refuse nourishment, “he or she shall not be fed artificially.”
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