December 19, 2014 | ABC News
An asylum seeker in the 48th day of a hunger strike in a Darwin detention centre gives written instruction that he not be revived if he loses consciousness.
The 33-year-old Iranian detainee at Wickham Point detention centre has not eaten since November 1 because he was denied refugee status.
His lawyer John Lawrence says his client has lost more than 25 kilograms and is rapidly deteriorating.
“He had particularly blood shot eyes, he was weaker,” he said.
“His limited English was abandoned and he used an interpreter.
“He was complaining of aches in his joints and limbs.”
Doctors must seek Immigration permission to force feed
The asylum seeker’s refusal to be revived poses a dilemma for doctors, who legally need a directive from the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s office to force feed him.
“If something happened, doctors would wait to hear from the Immigration Department, which of course is problematic on weekends and public holidays, with no-one at Immigration to give directive,” Dr Parker said.
A spokesperson for the Minister for Immigration and Border Security Scott Morrison said it would be inappropriate to comment for privacy reasons.
The President of the Australian Medical Association NT Rob Parker said the symptoms were concerning.
“Well, the fact is if he’s unable to speak [and] he’s getting weakness, that probably indicates a certain degree of organ failure,” he said.
“It probably indicates his brain is not getting the blood sugar and nutrients to function effectively.”
The detainee wrote a note to his lawyer, signed with his name and the number of the boat on which he came, refusing treatment.
“I do not want to break my hunger strike. I do not want to be resuscitated,” he wrote.
“Please resist any attempts to medically treat me should I fall unconscious, or should my wish to refuse treatment be overridden.”