Hospitals in the United States have been engaging in the practice of returning immigrant patients, usually undocumented immigrant patients, to their country of origin when the patient has long-term medical needs for which no reimbursement is available. I argue that for such an action to be ethical, it must be done in accordance with the mission and values of hospitals. I describe three standards that an individual instance of repatriation must meet to be ethical: (1) patient best interests, (2) medical due diligence, and (3) informed consent. I argue that these should form the basis for best practices in regard to medical repatriation for all hospitals in the United States.
Open Peer Commentaries.
- Patient Autonomy and the Unfortunate Choice between Repatriation and Suboptimal Treatment
- Medical Repatriation: The Need for a Bigger Picture
- Medical Repatriation Does Not Justify Hospital Entanglement in Nonmedical Matters
- Migration and Health: Discovering New Territory for Bioethics
- Criteria for Medical Repatriation and the Context of Inadequate Access to Care