Forced feeding - page 2

What are your thoughts or experiences on force feeding an inmate who refuses to eat? The inmates K+ is dangerously low and he refuses to accept meds and food.... Read More

  1. by   VegRN
    Quote from CorrRx
    I see this an old thread, but it is a new issue for me. I am a Nurse Manager of Jail health service. We have a court order, he is 24 days into his strike. Our issue is that we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. Ethically we have been unable to find a an MD who will do it. I haven't dropped a tube in over 20 years. Do i do it and reisk being sued? He has minor children and apparently that has some bearing on a legal outcome. So with this caveat in mind he on one hand states -we can not force feed him (it has literally been called punishment and torture after Gitmo.)- On the other, his children have rights to have him be kept alive. So at this point which is the choice?
    What do you mean you "have been unable to find an Md that will do it"? Do what? Drop the tube? Sign the order? Can you clarify?

    If you don't feel comfortable dropping the tube, how about getting an agency nurse to come in for an hour to get it done. Or sending him to the ER or a clinic appt or something. It sure is cheaper than a lawsuit.

    If you have an order to treat from the court and your Md is not wanting to order a feeding tube, then this Md is putting his butt on the line. If the inmate dies and the Md does nothing then, the family could sue the jail for not doing anything to save him being that he did indeed have the court order. In any case, cover yourself with good documentation.

    Good luck
  2. by   VegRN
    Quote from nomadicV
    Having had experience with hunger strikers, most don't go the distance (in my experience) Funny story: I had one guy who'd declared a hunger strike. In my system, it's not a hunger strike until 72 hours has passed so I told him of this. Looking at the guy: he was overweight and young--I knew he'd never go the distance. I brought him to the clinic during staff meal when we were having a potluck. Sat him within visual and olfactory distance and largely ignored him for about 5-15 min: he was asking for soup within minutes

    hhahahahahhaah....that is a funny one.