This book is Open Access under a CC BY license.
It is the first monograph-length study of the force-feeding of hunger strikers in English, Irish and Northern Irish prisons. It examines ethical debates that arose throughout the twentieth century when governments authorised the force-feeding of imprisoned suffragettes, Irish republicans and convict prisoners. It also explores the fraught role of prison doctors called upon to perform the procedure. Since the Home Office first authorised force-feeding in 1909, a number of questions have been raised about the procedure. Is force-feeding safe? Can it kill? Are doctors who feed prisoners against their will abandoning the medical ethical norms of their profession? And do state bodies use prison doctors to help tackle political dissidence at times of political crisis?
Ian Miller is a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland, Ulster University. He is the author of A Modern History of the Stomach: Gastric Illness, Medicine and British Society, 1800-1950, Reforming Food in Post-Famine Ireland: Medicine, Science and Improvement, 1845-1922 and Water: A Global History (2015).
1. `A Prostitution of the Profession'?: The Ethical Dilemma of Suffragette Force Feeding, 1909-1914. - 2. `The Instrument of Death': Prison Doctors and Medical Ethics in Revolutionary-Period Ireland, c.1917. - 3. `A Few Deaths from Hunger is Nothing': Experiencing Starvation in Irish Prisons, 1917-23. - 4. "I've Heard o' Food Queues, but this is the First Time I've ever Heard of a Feeding Queue!": Hunger Strikers, War and the State, 1914-61. - 5. "I Would Have Gone on with the Hunger Strike, but Force Feeding I could not Take": The Coercion of Hunger Striking Convict Prisoners, 1913-72. - 6: `An Experience Much Worse Than Rape': The End of Force-Feeding?