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Research Paper on the Bio-Ethics of Force Feeding in Guantamo Bay

The Legal Position on Force Feeding at Guantanamo Bay NAME INSTITUTION DATE Introduction Historically force feeding was invented as a countermeasure to hunger strikes conducted by detained suffragettes. The first documented case of force-feeding was done by Lady Constance Lytton a suffragette who had been detained at Walton Gaol Liverpool. Markedly the suffragettes’ force feeding experiences were only published in 1914 after their release and enactment of The Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act in 1913. Importantly most of the detained suffragettes including Lady Constance Lytton succumbed to the effects of force-feeding. Notably the procedure was also deployed on men who objected to the Military Conscription Act. Historically one of the famous figures to use passive resistance was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who opted to go on hunger strike to protest the electoral caste system that had been introduced by the British colonialist. Inevitably he was jailed for engaging USA (AIUSA) ‘Amnesty International USA Launches Aggressive Guantánamo Closure Campaign in Obama’s Final Days’ (Amnesty International USA January 3 2017) < accessed on 12th February 2017 Kotowski A. ‘US: Prolonged Indefinite Detention Violates International Law Current Detention Practices at Guantanamo Unjustified and Arbitrary’ (Human Rights Watch January 24 2011) < accessed on 11th February 2017 Levush R. ‘Israel: Law Authorizing Force-Feeding of Prisoners Held Constitutional’(Global Legal Monitor October 5 2016) < accessed on 12th February 2017. Purdum T. ‘Guantánamo: An Oral History’ (Vanity Fair 11th January 2012) < accessed on 12th February 2017 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ‘Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic HealthCare Services’ [2009] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 1-38 retrieved from < accessed on 12th February 2017 Other McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine Nursing and Allied Health Seventh Edition. © 2003
This is a legal paper about force feeding at Guantanamo Bay. As such, there needs to be plenty of legal talk. There are many cases out there directly on point. The paper needs a big historic piece.

Do people have the right to starve under prisoner rights? Are they technically patients? What are the patients rights?

Start broad. Person’s right to not be force fed. Then narrow it down.

This is an American Law paper but also look at British/international law too. What does the UN think/say? The Vatican doesn’t think that nutrition and hydration count as treatment (which is a big deal because the law is careful with the distinction of nutrition/hydration vs. treatment – they are not interchangeable). What do the court cases regarding force feeding at Guantanamo say? Food + water or do they say treatment? The Catholic Church’s pronouncement on force-feeding?

When can you refuse treatment? Apply that to the law to force feeding. The law is pretty consistent that you can refuse nutrition at the end of life. If you can reject treatment, why does it not translate to force feeding? (See also maybe rules on prisoners per Geneva Convention)

Definitely use the Bouvia Case (Bouvia v. Superior Court 179 Ca. App. 3rd 1127).

Autonomy vs. Beneficence, aka Individual Decision Making vs. Treatment/Best Interest Test.

Bouvia case is different. Prison is punishment. In Guantanamo Bay there are healthy people going on hunger strikes. Bouvia physically can’t eat vs. someone who would rather die than be in prison. Bouvia has control over one thing, the ability to exist and nothing else.

FOUR state interests: (1) Preserving life (2) Preventing suicide (3) Protecting innocent Third Parties and (4) Maintaining the ethical standards of the medical profession.
Why the fourth one? Consent of patient should evolve that fourth rule.

Accepting death as consequence of refusing treatment, for painful, religious, or any other purpose, is different from one who is actively seeking death. Professor of my course believes that prison is a punishment you must face.

You can’t execute an incompetent person. Can you execute a criminal person who is not competent (mentally ill), who’s rejected drugs that would’ve made him competent? Can you forcibly give him/her the drugs, to get the competent, so that you can legally kill him/her? This is a very big issue right now and my professor strongly believes against capital punishment.

You don’t have to necessarily agree with my professor but its something to keep in mind.

The basic idea is (1) What’s going on now, (2) what’s happened in the past, and (3) my ideas. Have a summary at the end of each section and there needs to be a sense of flow.

The assignment is 25-30 pages. Needs footnotes (not endnotes). Of course you’ll need to talk on the law for a bit, but the core of this paper is the analytical section, i.e., my input on the topic. We want to educate the reader so that the reader can understand the analysis and personal ideas.

Can you have an outline (1-2 pages) ready for me soon?

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you so very much.

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