Medical deportation refers to the involuntary removal of documented and undocumented immigrants with long-term health care needs and little or no health insurance coverage from a U.S. hospital to a facility in their country of origin. Oftentimes, it is known that the medical facilities to which they are being sent lack adequate equipment or skill to provide the requisite care.
Research suggests that hospitals are increasingly using this practice to address inadequate funding for emergency and long-term medical care costs, with hospitals obtaining court orders that allow them to circumvent U.S. legal provisions related to immigration deportation.
Some hospitals have attempted to have a U.S. citizen patient removed to the country of a parent’s origin in an effort to reduce their costs.
Various commentators have suggested that the practice of medical deportation represents a form of patient dumping across international borders, and constitutes a violation of both U.S. and international law. This presentation explores the ethical and legal issues confronting health care providers in such situations, as well as the obligations of local governments and organizations to provide care for immigrants with health needs.
About the series
The Social Justice Research Lunch Series presents monthly events at which faculty and researchers across academic disciplines present how social justice is central to their research. Question-and-answer sessions follow presentations.