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Forced feeding

Correctional   (3,135 Views 15 Comments)
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The PA DOC has an entire policy on hunger strike. It is instituted after the inmate has missed 9 consecutive meals. They must be evaluated by a MD and Psychiatrist, sign a consent theythey are aware of the results of starvation. They are admitted to the infirmary, have daily VS amd weights lab work is ordered on routine basis. They have always started to eat at our facility within aday of admission to the infirmary, and are usually "rewarded" with Ensure. They call it their milkshake. Wave it below their noses and they lap it up. Not sure why, I think it's taste is disgusting, but they love it. I think it's just for the attention and the reward of Ensure. If they I/M is declared incompetent by psych they will be restrained and force feed but in 11 years, I have never seen this happen.

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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

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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.

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