Voluntary Total Fasting: A Challenge for the Medical Community
Lancet. 1984 Jun 30; 1(8392): 1451-1452.
Medical attendance on fasting members of a French anti-nuclear group, part of the international Fast for Life movement, is described. Four physicians agreed to authenticate the fast, release health bulletins, provide medical surveillance, advise on lifestyle and hygiene, and warn of impending permanent damage. Conditions set by the doctors for their involvement included arrangements for proxy decision making, awareness of risks on the part of the fasters, daily medical examinations, and withdrawal of surveillance if medical decisions were not implemented. The circumstances and course of the 40-day fast are related, and the role of the physicians in this episode is discussed. (KIE abstract)
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