Hunger strikes are the terrible consequences of a deeply felt conviction. This form of protest, often the only one available has been used over the years. In India, by the Suffragettes , Irish IRA prisoners and Guantanamo Bay. . One of my ancestors survived this form of protest in Holloway Prison as a Suffragette.
The Offender Health section of the UK Department of Health is publishing a guideline for the care of these protesters.
Care is complicated as there is electrolyte imbalance, vitamin and mineral depletion infection, hypothermia and renal failure. Failure can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
Sometimes a prisoner may survive for as long as 19 months. It would be a terrible and important comparison with the prisoners in German Concentration camps during the 1938-45 period..
Doctors are sometimes called upon to force feed.This is forbidden by the World Health Association in Declarations.
Editorial Lancet 2008 Clinical Care of hunger strikers vol 372 p777
- Martin Eastwood