Forced feeding as a matter of standard operating procedure
Forced feeding was carried out at Guantánamo as a matter of standard operating procedure, as revealed by Standard Operating Procedure 001 (Voluntary and Total Voluntary Fasting and Re-Feeding). Although forced feeding is practiced in prisons in the U.S. mainland as well as in Guantánamo, it is regarded as clear violation of medical ethics by all international medical conventions--including those to which the American Medical Association is a signatory:
It should be noted that physicians worldwide have reached a consensus regarding involuntary and physically restrained feeding of prisoners. Part of this consensus are:
Article 6 of The 1975 Tokyo Declaration of the World Medical Association: "Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially."
Article 21 of The 1991 Malta Declaration of the World Medical Association (as revised in 1992 and 2006): "Forcible feeding is never ethically acceptable. Even if intended to benefit, feeding accompanied by threats, coercion, force or use of physical restraints is a form of inhuman and degrading treatment. Equally unacceptable is the forced feeding of some detainees in order to intimidate or coerce other hunger strikers to stop fasting".
Conclusion to a Red Cross position paper on the medical and ethical aspects of hunger strikes in custody: “Doctors should never be party to actual coercive feeding, with prisoners being tied down and intravenous drips or oesophageal tubes being forced into them. Such actions can be considered a form of torture, and under no circumstances should doctors participate in them, on the pretext of “saving the hunger striker’s life”.
According to Guantánamo spokesman Navy Commander Rick Haupt, an undisclosed number of Guantánamo physicians have declined to participate in the forced-feeding of prisoners.