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Physician Thodoris Sdoukos on health condition and force-feeding of hunger and thirst striker Dimitris Koufontinas

March 2. 2021. Thodoris Sdoukos, physician of Dimitris Koufontinas, speaks about the health condition and about force-feeding.

Submitted to Enough 14. Translated by Riot Turtle. Image above: Lamia hospital, the hospital were Dimitris Koufontinas is cirrently treated.

Information from March 2, 2021:

Thodoris Sdoukos: As you know, Dimitris Koufontinas is in a very difficult situation because he has been on hunger strike for several days. The fact that he has not died is due to the minimal intake of liquids. This was given to him by necessity in order to correct some electrolyte imbalances that were occurring, as is to be expected in an advanced hunger and thirst strike.

He has not lost consciousness yet, but is in a drowsy state. He also has a disorder of the thermoregulatory mechanism, hypothermia, which we know it can occur. However, he retains his orientation, which allows him to communicate with anyone who visits him or with the doctors at the time when he needs to have a conversation with them. But this is a borderline situation and there is no guarantee that a deterioration can be avoided that will lead to death, perhaps in the next 24 hours.

So we are at ground zero. Everyone should know that. And the intensity of the struggle and the interventions now have to be at a maximum. There seems to be an absolute intransigence on the government side that worries me a lot. It worries me because it is not just that they are indifferent, but that they seek the death of the hunger striker.

I would also like to clarify that the doctors, remain faithful to their actual role, and in the discussions we had with them, did not undertake any treatment that did not have the approval of the hunger striker. No attempt was made to disregard his will. Of course, they are also very concerned because they see a man slowly dying in their hands. They are used to it when a disease kills a patient. But here it’s not about that, it’s a different situation. And this is in a situation where they also have other patients. It really puts them in a very difficult position, morally, philosophically and medically, in every way.

What worries me most is that the government is not taking even a half step back. That they are trying to discredit solidarity and, of course, the hunger striker himself. That they are closing Facebook pages. (…) We have a huge democracy problem, and we need to discuss at different levels together what the strategy of the other side is. Because I see that they will continue the tension in any way. This goes to the limits on our side. (…)

Question: Apart from the doctors of Lamia, who all the time refuse to give forced feeding, which the state favors. Is there a risk that the doctors of the hospital in Lamia will be replaced?

Sdoukos: I don’t know if such a consideration exists. The only thing that could be done in such a reactionary direction, I imagine, is to move him to a private institution by a political decision. I don’t know if that is legal, but I don’t think that is going to happen. I think if they decide to do that, they will put an unbearable amount of pressure on physicians, possibly with other kinds of criminal interventions. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Nobody can possibly predict that.

I don’t see any legal procedure that can compel force-feeding. We just live in such a regime of anomaly at all levels that I don’t know how far these people are willing to go anymore.

March 2, 2021.

On February 28, the Head of Lamia General Hospital of Lamia, Andreas Kolokithas, anounced that the health of Dimitris Koufontinas had “seriously deteriorated”. “ In full compliance with current legislation, ICU staff are taking all the necessary medical and pharmacological actions to deal with the consequences of the patient’s persistent refusal to eat or receive liquids”,  the hospital said in its statement from February 28.

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