Despite the Israel Medical Association’s forceful statement in recent weeks urging its thousands of members to oppose force-feeding of security prisoners against their will, dozens of prominent and senior Israeli doctors, scientists, ethicists, jurists and philosophers have joined together to voice the antithetical view. The “rebels” include four Israel Prize laureates.
Their statement noted that they were “strongly opposed” to the IMA position that a physician is “forbidden” to save the life of a hunger strike against his will. The IMA also used “professional threats” against those who believed - and were willing to act - differently.
The medical association argued that international conventions support its policy, and that only if and when a hunger striker loses consciousness can the autonomy of the hunger striker be suspended.
In their position paper, the “rebels” state that saving a human life “is suited to view of the ethics and values well anchored in the laws of the State of Israel, Jewish religious values and the Israel Patients’ Rights Law - and rulings based on it by the Supreme Court and the district courts).