GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba
One of America’s leading nursing organizations is trying to save the U.S. Navy career of an officer, a nurse like them, who refused to force-feed hunger strikers this summer.
In a private letter, the American Nurses Association wrote Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel last month arguing that the nurse should not be punished for making an independent ethical decision. The Physicians for Human Rights set up a conference call for Wednesday with the Navy nurse’s attorney and the advocacy group’s president to disclose the letter, which has been obtained by the Miami Herald.
It says: “These actions are resulting from the nurse’s expressing an ethical objection to participating in the force-feeding of detainees who are engaging in a form of protest at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp.” The Pentagon has not responded.
The Miami Herald disclosed the crisis of conscience over the summer after a Syrian hunger striker heard the lieutenant declare he could no longer force-feed, told his lawyer about it, and the prison confirmed it happened.
Commanders cut short the deployment of the male nurse — who has never been publicly identified — and returned him to his base in New England. His boss ordered that a Board of Inquiry be formed to consider whether to discharge him from military service. . . [Full Text]