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2017

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Notre Dame Law School

Force-feeding prisoners

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Competent Hunger Strikers: Applying The Lessons From Northern Ireland To The Force-Feeding In Guantanamo, Sara Cloon Jan 2017

Competent Hunger Strikers: Applying The Lessons From Northern Ireland To The Force-Feeding In Guantanamo, Sara Cloon

Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy

The United States allows force-feeding of prisoners, regardless of their state of mind or mental health because they deem preservation of life as paramount. In the United Kingdom, a prisoner who is of a sound mind “can be allowed to starve himself to death.”1 This difference is due to the balance between the importance of preservation of life and of the right to self-determination and autonomy in medical decisions. My note will first briefly explore the history of force-feeding prisoners who are protesting for political purposes in both countries, and the relevant cases and statues that led up to ...