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Guantanamo doctor facing ethics hearing over force-feeding of hunger strikers

[JURIST] Attorneys for a number of hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] have filed a petition in a California court to force the state medical ethics board to investigate Dr. John S. Edmondson, chief medical officer at the prison, for alleged unprofessional conduct for allowing the forced insertion of feeding tubes. The prisoners contend that the procedure is used as a form of torture, and as a member of the American Medical Association Edmondson is claimed to be in violation of Article 5 of the 1975 World Medical Association Tokyo Declaration [text], which prohibits physicians from subjecting patients to inhumane treatment. While Edmondson has acknowledged in court papers filed in another case that the procedure can be accompanied by painful side effects including vomiting, he has denied accusations that the tubes are used as a form of punishment [JURIST report]. In July, the US Army Surgeon-General concluded after an investigation that there was no systematic medical abuse of detainees [JURIST report] at Guantanamo Bay. A hearing in the Edmundson case is expected next week. The Observer has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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