Protest hunger strike. What are the consequences for prisoners who refuse to eat?

Protest hunger strike.  What are the consequences for prisoners who refuse to eat?

Some people decide to go on a hunger strike to manifest their views and express opposition to the existing social or political situation. It is used, among others, by: prisoners. We checked the consequences of refusing food in prison.

The topic of hunger strikes became famous thanks to Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik, who started a hunger strike after being detained by the police and placed in prison. In the case of prisoners, the principle “everyone has the right not to eat or drink” does not fully apply.

Hunger in prison – what do the regulations say?

Going on a hunger strike in prison, in the light of the provisions of the Executive Penal Code, is an unacceptable action unless it results from religious beliefs or health indications. A person who refuses to eat without an apparent reason will be subject to disciplinary action. Its type and nature may vary. The list of penalties includes, among others, a reprimand, a ban on receiving parcels and a ban on visits. Moreover, the court may decide to force the inmate to be fed. In the event of a sudden deterioration of a prisoner’s health, doctors respond immediately. They may decide to insert a feeding tube or use a drip.

Currently, most is known about Mariusz Kamiński’s health. “Today I received information from Mariusz Kamiński’s wife that a court order has been issued against the minister to force him to be fed because his health condition is life-threatening,” said President Andrzej Duda during a media appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

What are the health consequences of fasting?

Fasting for a long time disturbs the functioning of the body. It leads to a decrease in blood glucose levels. It is accompanied by many different symptoms, such as:

  • increase in blood pressure,

  • stimulation,

  • irritability,

  • Heart arythmia,

  • difficulty concentrating,

  • hypothermia (a condition in which the body temperature drops below 36 degrees, hypothermia),

  • stupor.

Over time, speech and vision disorders also appear. Long-term fasting results in muscle weakness and breathing problems. The kidneys stop functioning properly. Swelling of the limbs appears. The body’s immunity decreases and, consequently, the risk of developing infections and systemic infections increases. Therefore, fasting may pose a threat to human life.

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