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California Considers Force-Feeding Prison Inmates

Posted: Aug 20, 2013 3:23 PM by The Associated Press

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California prison officials say if they end up force-feeding hunger-striking inmates, they want to avoid using the method employed at Guantanamo Bay.

California prison officials won a court order Monday saying they could force-feed dozens of inmates who have been on a hunger strike for six weeks over solitary confinement conditions.

U.S military officials came under heavy criticism from human rights advocates when they snaked feeding tubes through the noses of terrorism suspects who refused to eat.

Dr. Steve Tharratt, who oversees medical services for the state prison system, says if force-feeding is even used it's likely to be done by pumping nutrient-enriched fluids into the bloodstreams of inmates who are close to death.

There are 46 inmates who have refused anything more than water, vitamins and electrolytes since July 8.

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