Legal Aspects Of Force-Feeding Of Starving Prisoners In Medical Criminal Law


The paper discusses the important issue of the law of penitentiary medicine about the management of the hunger strike declared by the prisoner in the Georgian and German legal space. The international declarations of doctors on respecting the autonomous decision of the prisoner as a vulnerable patient and protecting his/her physical inviolability and dignity and, accordingly, on the inadmissibility of force-feeding of a starving prisoner, even when starvation may result in health damage and death, are analyzed. The dilemma of the medics of the penitentiary institution is discussed, their choice, on the one hand, regarding the obligation to protect the life of the starving prisoner and on the other hand, the protection of his/her dignity. The regulations of the Georgian and German penitentiary medicine laws are analyzed in a comparative legal sense, according to which it is allowed to artificially feed a starving incapacitated prisoner in order to save his/her life. The practice of the European Court of Human Rights on the admissibility of forced feeding of a starving prisoner is discussed. It is indicated that force-feeding, which violates the physical integrity and dignity of a person, is narrowly understood in penitentiary medicine and it means feeding by overcoming the physical resistance of a starving person.


Prisoner-patient, Self-determination, Paternalism

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