Rights, Duties and Law

As follows from our commitment to human rights, the IZS investigates the obstacles seen in the day-to-day reality of minority groups in Israel, predominantly Israeli Arabs, and Palestinians who live under Israeli rule. Our reports typically give a comprehensive analysis of past and current developments of social, economic and law-enforcement issues from a national-liberal point of view. We point to policy barriers, analyze deep causes and offer practical recommendations to accomplishing a more just and democratic society. 

Force-Feeding of Hunger-Striking Prisoners

By Rights, Duties and Law No Comments

Yael Baklor-Kahn and Adi Arbel

The proposed law to allow force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners was recently approved by the Knesset. Discussion of the topic led to public debate for and against the proposed law. The purpose of this paper is to present the topic in an organized fashion, to analyze the dilemmas it raises, and to present a considered opinion about the proposed law.

The issue of force-feeding hunger strikers is not a new one and represents an area of public disagreement in Israel and abroad. Until this new law, Israel’s legal position towards the issue was laid out in the law detailing the rights of the ill, a law which set conditions and standards for providing care to a person against his will.

The issue has also not yet been settled in international law. The World Medical Association stated in the Tokyo Declaration that a physician may not make his professional skills available for the purposes of interrogation; the Malta Declaration stated that forced feeding of prisoners is not ethical. On the other hand, in 2005 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that one may force-feed a prisoner who is in mortal danger. Read More

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