Prison hunger strikes: why the motive matters

Hastings Cent Rep. 1982 Dec;12(6):21-2.


KIE: Force feeding of hunger-striking prisoners is discussed in the context of three 1982 state appellate court decisions involving the right to refuse treatment. The Supreme Court of Georgia accepted a prisoner's argument; courts in New York and West Virginia found a compelling state interest that justified force feeding, as did an earlier Massachusetts decision that rejected a prisoner's refusal of renal dialysis. The author contends that the Georgia court erred in not distinguishing the motivation of the prisoner--to manipulate the prison system--from that of patients who refuse treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Civil Rights*
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Judicial Role*
  • Jurisprudence
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Parenteral Nutrition
  • Prisoners / psychology*
  • Starvation / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control*
  • United States