Force-feeding political prisoners on hunger strike

Michael Weingarten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A Palestinian administrative detainee in Israel asked for the author to care for him as an independent physician while in hospital on two hunger strikes, lasting 66 and 55 days, respectively. Hunger striking is placed in the context of other forms of food refusal and artificial feeding. The various perspectives on the challenge of the medical care of hunger strikers are reviewed, as seen by the state, the public, the doctor and the patient. Institutional statements on the management of hunger strikers are reviewed and the local political considerations are highlighted. In conclusion, a trusting doctor-patient relationship is presented as the crucial element for securing a successful outcome, preserving the prisoner’s life and dignity with no significant political damage incurred by the State.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-94
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.


  • Force feeding
  • Hunger strike
  • Israel-Palestine


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