Doctors condemn US force-feeding policy at Guantanamo Bay

Doctors condemn US force-feeding policy at Guantanamo Bay

[JURIST] In an open letter [PDF] in the British medical journal Lancet [journal website], more than 250 doctors [signatories, PDF] from seven countries have urged the US government to ensure that detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] are examined by independent physicians and that methods such as force-feeding [JURIST report] through the use of restraint chairs are not continued. Amnesty International has also urged an "independent medical examination of the prisoners" based on the doctors' concerns.

Hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay have been an ongoing problem [JURIST report] for the US military and according to the 1975 Tokyo declaration [text] from the World Medical Association [official website], doctors should explain to prisoners the consequences of hunger strikes though avoid participating in forced nourishment. The WMA also opposes the forced feeding of hunger strikers [policy statement] as coercive. BBC News has more.