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Rev Med Suisse. 2010 Dec 1;6(273):2313-8.

[Hunger strike and forced feeding: a historical look at medical practices].

[Article in French]

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Département de médecine communautaire, de premier recours et des urgences, HUG, Genève.


Hunger strike is not a disease but a common situation in prisons. This article takes a historical look at medical practices in connection with the forced feeding of hunger strikers. We now know the fate of the strikers who were subjected to forced feeding. Depending on the context and the political situation in the country, the fate of these people, mostly political prisoners, is described as humiliating and abominable frequently ending in death or irreparable consequences. Particularly difficult for health professionals, this act raises clinical, ethical and legal questions and refers to the fundamental principles of medicine.

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