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Hunger strike among detainees: guidance for good medical practice

Published in Swiss medical weekly. 2012, vol. 142, w13675
Abstract Hunger strike is a regularly reported problem in prison. Although clinical situations are rarely severe, hospitalisation is often considered. In consequence, it is not only physicians working in prisons, but also hospital medical teams who face challenges related to hunger strike, involving somatic, psychological, legal and human rights aspects. Furthermore, deontological rules must be strictly respected when delivering care, particularly in prison setting. Starvation involves metabolic changes and can cause severe, and sometimes even irreversible or fatal complications. Moreover, the phase of re-alimentation should not be trivialised, as re-feeding syndrome is a potentially fatal phenomenon. This article provides guidance for monitoring and management of patients on hunger strike.
Keywords Advance Directives/ethicsComorbidityDissent and DisputesEthical TheoryFasting/adverse effects/physiology/psychologyHealth StatusHuman RightsHumansInformed Consent/ethicsMedical Staff/ethics/standardsPhysician-Patient Relations/ethicsPrisoners/psychologyRefeeding Syndrome/complications/etiology/prevention & controlStarvation/complications/psychology/therapyTreatment Refusal/ethics/legislation & jurisprudence
PMID: 22987064
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Research group Groupe Jean-Michel Gaspoz (23)
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GETAZ, Laurent et al. Hunger strike among detainees: guidance for good medical practice. In: Schweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift, 2012, vol. 142, p. w13675. doi: 10.4414/smw.2012.13675 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:31741

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Deposited on : 2013-12-04

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