March 12, 2006



By: ollycb


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bandageAn letter signed by over 200 physicians in the Lancet calls for an end to the forced feeding of Guantanamo detainees who are on hunger strikes, a practice that requires the insertion of a feeding tube. The physicians argue that this amounts to medical therapy and that no competent patient can be subjected to such intervention against their will. A number of medical associations, including the World Medical Association, clearly state that forced feeding is a banned practice.

From the Physicians for Human Rights website:

Ethical codes endorsed by the American Medical Association (AMA), including the World Medical Association (WMA)’s 1975 Declaration of Tokyo, which was elaborated in the 1991 WMA Declaration of Malta on Hunger Strikers (see links below), state clearly that “where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the doctor as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially [emphasis added].?

Link [NPR]

Link [Physicians for Human Rights]

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Time magazine released the full transcripts (pdf: 366k) of an interrogation of “the 20th hijacker”, Mohammad al-Qahtani while in custody at Guantanamo Bay. Most speculate that al-Qahtani was to be the fifth hijacker aboard United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed into a field in Pennsylvania on 9/11.

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