As I suggested could happen back before this all started ("Will Brown order force-feeding?"), California is now seeking ways to force-feed prisoners, despite prison policy being to let inmates die if they have a legally binding DNR.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) California prison officials with the backing of a federal health care receiver are seeking court permission to force-feed inmates who have been participating in a hunger strike that is entering its seventh week.Translation:
Officials say they are concerned about the health of nearly 70 inmates who have refused all prison-issued meals since the strike began July 8.
Prison policy is to let inmates die if they have a legally binding do-not-resuscitate request. But corrections officials and the federal authority who oversees prison medical care filed a motion Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco asking for authority to feed inmates near death.
That authority, if granted, would cover some who asked not to be revived.
Officials could not say how many inmates, if any, are currently near death.
"No, we won't let you die. We want you alive so that we can stuff you back into your 7' x 11' cell, isolated 23 hour a day, without a window and without phone calls for another ten years. So we can confirm that it was all a power play by gang leaders so we can sleep at night."
Today is day 43 of the Califoria Prisoner Hunger Strike. More than 200 hunger strikers are still participating, risking death to stop the future torture of thousands of current and future California inmates.
Already one prisoner, Billy Sell has died. How many more, Jerry Brown before you agree to negotiate?
An exerpt from a statement the Prisoners' Mediation Team issued today:
The only way the strike can end without any more participants dying is if the Department begins to see the prisoners as humans, not just as people who have committed crimes, usually decades earlier. Without this breakthrough there will be deaths.Unfortunately, Beard and Brown have yet to demonstrate any humanity in this regard. Only, it seems, the screaming headlines of prisoners starving to death - which they are trying deseperately to avoid - is likely to cause them to re-evaluate.
But an equally serious problem is that our own humanity is compromised when we demonize "the other," and dismiss their humanity. Experienced practitioners of non-violence - such as Gandhi or Cesar Chavez - counseled that hunger strikes should only be used to raise issues within one’s community, where the moral imperative being lifted up can be embraced and real change can take place. When the opponent doesn’t feel that human affinity, all may be lost. It is sobering to remember that Cesar Chavez fasted to the point of permanently harming his own health, and died prematurely. We appeal to Secretary Beard and Governor Brown to demonstrate their humanity by making the reasonable changes that are being requested before it is too late. History will hold them accountable for these lives.
#BREAKING: Federal judge grants request to force-feed California inmates on weeks-long hunger strike. (AP)— ABC7 News (@abc7newsBayArea) August 19, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge approved a request from California and federal officials on Monday to force-feed inmates if necessary as a statewide prison hunger strike entered its seventh week.It's Judge Thelton Henderson who has approved the order. That's a bit unexpected - that he in particular would approve the order, as has generally been pretty damned hard on state officials.
Officials say they fear for the welfare of nearly 70 inmates who have refused all prison-issued meals since the strike began July 8 over the holding of gang leaders and other violent inmates in solitary confinement that can last for decades...
do-not-resuscitate directives would not be honored if the medical executive reasonably believes the inmate was coerced into signing the request or if an attorney representing the inmate revokes the request.
Do-not-resuscitate orders signed by a hunger striker at or near the beginning of the strike or during the hunger strike would automatically be deemed invalid.