Force-Feeding and Selective Paternalism

Judge Allows Military to Force-Feed Guantánamo Detainee. The judge insists that "The court simply cannot let Mr. Dhiab die."  This despite the fact that Dhiab has autonomously (and, in the
Philosophy News image
Judge Allows Military to Force-Feed Guantánamo Detainee. The judge insists that "The court simply cannot let Mr. Dhiab die."  This despite the fact that Dhiab has autonomously (and, in the circumstances, I would think entirely rationally) chosen to go on a hunger strike, and obviously does not consent to be violently force-fed by his captors.This naturally raises the question: Does the U.S. legal system no longer recognize an individual's right to refuse invasive medical treatment? Or is there simply an exception for when their death would be embarrassing to the administration?  After all, there are surely much clearer and stronger reasons for paternalistic intervention in ordinary cases of, e.g., patients refusing life-saving blood transfusions on religious grounds.  Or is a blood transfusion more invasive than violently shoving a feeding tube up a captive's nose and down his throat? Perhaps it's thought that the captive has "more to lose" -- his life of. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: Philosophy, et cetera

blog comments powered by Disqus