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Posts Tagged ‘Deservingness’

Defects in the Safety Net: When the Emergency Option is the Only Option – Sural Shah

February 27, 2014 1 comment

Sural Shah
Cambridge Health Alliance & Harvard School of Public Health

Ana, age 29, came to the clinic for a sore throat, her two energetic children in tow. While her kids darted around the clinic space, which was donated by a local academic medical center, I introduced myself as a volunteer physician and began asking about her medical history. As Ana moved from her chair to the exam table, she told me she had traveled from Mexico to the United States as a teenager and now was living here illegally, a familiar story among patients in the largely Latino and impoverished Philadelphia community our non-profit clinic[1] serves. Moving my stethoscope around her chest, I was surprised to hear a harsh murmur suggesting problems with the blood flow through her heart.  Read more…

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Immigration Reform and Health Care: Leaving the Undocumented in the Breach – Lori Nessel

March 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Lori Nessel
Seton Hall University School of Law

Any effort at comprehensive immigration reform must also address the health care needs of millions of immigrants with long-standing ties to this country. Absent such reform, immigrants needing ongoing medical care will remain vulnerable to the unethical practice of de facto deportation by hospitals, which is fueled by a lack of government reimbursement or oversight of international discharges.

In fact, a recent study from the Center for Social Justice and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest cites hundreds of cases of forced or coerced medical deportations. Acting alone or in concert with private transportation companies, as my colleagues and I report, hospitals are functioning as unauthorized immigration officers and engaging in de facto deportation of seriously ill or injured immigrant patients directly from their hospital beds to their native countries.

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Narrowing Our Moral Community of Concern: A Critique of Canada’s New Refugee Policies – Ben Langer

July 24, 2012 1 comment

Ben Langer
Western University School of Medicine and Dentistry

The doctors of Canada are angry. Last May in Toronto, a group of 90 physicians clad in white coats and scrubs occupied the office of a high-ranking member of the Canadian Parliament. Since then, physicians have consistently interrupted press conferences held by Conservative members of Parliament to protest cuts to the country’s Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which since 1957 has provided basic health care to refugees and asylum seekers.

Under the new policy, many refugees will receive care only in “urgent and necessary” cases or if their illness is deemed a threat to public health. Ironically, these cuts came into effect on the July 1st celebration of Canada Day, when this nation of immigrants and refugees celebrates its independence and its core values of generosity, openness, and multiculturalism.

Photo: Doctors for Refugee Care

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Shattered by Security: The Impact of Secure Communities on Families – Rachel Stonecipher

December 15, 2011 1 comment

Rachel Stonecipher*
SMU

Although ICE’s Secure Communities initiative claims to prioritize “the removal of criminal aliens, those who pose a threat to public safety, and repeat immigration violators,” recent national reports by PBS Frontline and the Applied Research Center (ARC) indicate that most immigrants taken into ICE custody have no serious criminal history—and, moreover, that a growing number are parents with dependent children.

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How Can Medical Anthropologists Contribute to Contemporary Conversations on “Illegal” Im/migration and Health?

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

How can medical anthropologists contribute to contemporary conversations on “illegal” im/migration and health?

Click below to read a newly published commentary in Medical Anthropology Quarterly in which three of AccessDenied’s founders consider precisely this question.[1] We invite your comments and reactions below, and we hope the piece will encourage additional scholars, clinicians, public health professionals, migrant activists, and others to join our conversation here at AccessDenied as readers and/or contributors.

Take a Stand Commentary: How Can Medical Anthropologists Contribute to Contemporary Conversations on “Illegal” Im/migration and Health? Medical Anthropology Quarterly Sarah S. Willen, Jessica Mulligan, Heide Castañeda. Vol. 25, Issue 3, pp. 331–356.

ABSTRACT: Of the estimated 214 million people who have migrated from poorer to richer countries in search of a better life, between 20 and 30 million have migrated on an unauthorized, or “illegal,” basis. All have health needs, or will in the future, yet most are denied health care available to citizens and authorized residents. To many, unauthorized im/migrants’ exclusion intuitively “makes sense.” As scholars of health, social justice, and human rights, we find this logic deeply flawed and are committed to advancing a constructive program of engaged critique. In this commentary, we call on medical anthropologists to claim an active role in reframing scholarly and public debate about this pressing global health issue. We outline four key theoretical issues and five action steps that will help us sharpen our research agenda and translate ourselves for colleagues in partner disciplines and for broader audiences engaged in policymaking, politics, public health, and clinical practice. [unauthorized im/migration, “illegality,” social determinants of health, “deservingness,” public anthropology]


[1] If you do not have online journal access via a personal subscription or academic institution, please email us at contactaccessdenied@gmail.com. To subscribe to AccessDenied, please enter your email address under “Email Subscription” on our homepage. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, please contact us via email.

Call It a Crisis: Confronting Public Health Risks on the U.S.-Mexico Border – Rachel Stonecipher & Sarah Willen

August 26, 2011 1 comment

     Rachel Stonecipher (SMU) & Sarah S. Willen (University of Connecticut)

You wouldn’t know it from the U.S. national media, but a multi-dimensional public health crisis is unfolding on the U.S.-Mexico border that few seem ready to acknowledge.

The complexity of this crisis – about which we know little since the affected group is a moving target, and a controversial one at that – came to light during a recent study tour to Tucson, Arizona, sponsored by the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in winter 2011 in which one of us [RS, an SMU undergraduate] had the privilege of taking part. The group spent two weeks meeting with leaders and officials in local law enforcement, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, and various humanitarian organizations active on the U.S. and Mexican sides of the border. These encounters revealed reports of violence and neglect throughout the migration process that signal a complex, cross-border health crisis far too vast for activists to address alone.

Migrant deaths in the border region. (Map: Humane Borders, 2010)

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News Round-Up (2/27/10)

February 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Nolan Kline
University of South Florida

Current talk about excluding immigrants from health care reform raises crucial questions about the relationship between health care access and immigration status. Who deserves access to medical care, and why are immigrants sometimes viewed as less deserving of care?

Mounting evidence suggests that the current health care reform proposals – whatever their fate – will do little to address immigrants’ health care  barriers, as Feet in 2 Worlds notes, citing a press release from New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage and the New York Immigration Coalition. In some respects, current proposals would create additional hindrances for certain immigrant groups.  Read more…