Debating Forced Medical Feeding: a Critical Examination of Israeli Responses to Hunger Strikes | University of Oxford

Debating Forced Medical Feeding: a Critical Examination of Israeli Responses to Hunger Strikes

Speaker
Professor Noam Zohar - Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy, Bar Ilan University
Event date
Event time
17:30 - 19:00
Venue
Lecture Theatre
St Cross College
61 St Giles
Oxford
OX1 3LZ
Venue details

Lecture Theatre

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Free
Disabled access?
Yes
Booking required
Required

In this talk, I will critically examine Israeli institutional responses to hunger strikes (mainly by Palestinian prisoners). A crucial part of the background is the unique clause 15 of Israel's Patient’s Rights Act of 1996, which allows forced, life-saving treatment in the expectation of retroactive consent. Recently, however, the government initiated legislation aimed to mandate forced feeding for reasons that include not only concern for the hunger striker's life, but also concern for state security. The National Bioethics Council unanimously opposed this expansion of grounds for forced treatment, though a minority within the Council endorsed placing hunger strikers in a separate category from other patients. I will discuss the ethical and political values expressed in this debate, as well as the contestable notion of retroactive consent.