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Posts Tagged ‘immigrant health activism’

“Doing No Harm” in an Age of Medical Repatriations: Challenges and Opportunities for Health Professionals – Juliana Morris

June 20, 2012 1 comment

Juliana Morris
Harvard Medical School

How often do doctors cause harm to their patients when they discharge them from the hospital? For a sizeable group of immigrant patients who are “discharged” to their countries of origin each year, the answer may be: more often than not. The story of Quelino Ojeda Jimenez, an immigrant from Oaxaca, Mexico, who became quadriplegic after a fall at his roofing job in Chicago, Illinois, is case in point.

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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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S-Comm Immigration Initiative Is Bad for Our Health – Karen Hacker, Jennifer Kasper, and Juliana Morris

July 21, 2011 4 comments

Karen Hacker,1,2 Jennifer Kasper,1,3 and Juliana Morris1
1Harvard Medical School, 2Institute for Community Health, 3Massachusetts General Hospital

After much deliberation, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick decided this month not to sign the Secure Communities (S-Comm) program, following the lead of New York, Illinois, and other states. While this is a significant step in protecting immigrants’ rights, health care providers need to be vigilant. It is important to understand the potential negative health implications of this program, which could affect all communities in Massachusetts and across the United States.

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