Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medical safety net for undocumented patients

Date:
October 12, 2011
Source:
The Hastings Center
Summary:
Researchers are exploring the ethical challenges that clinicians and organizations face when providing medical care to undocumented immigrants in the United States. Most of the estimated 11 million undocumented residents of the US have no health insurance and are ineligible for public insurance programs. They are prohibited from obtaining insurance under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Hastings Center is exploring the ethical challenges that clinicians and organizations face when providing medical care to undocumented immigrants in the United States. The project is supported by a grant from the Overbrook Foundation Domestic Human Rights Program.

Related Articles


Most of the estimated 11 million undocumented residents of the U.S. have no health insurance and are ineligible for public insurance programs. They are prohibited from obtaining insurance under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

When they become sick or injured, these low-income patients have limited access to health care. Organizations that are federally mandated to provide some level of care on the basis of medical need, such as emergency departments, federally qualified health centers, and health programs for farm workers, face difficult resource allocation challenges when undocumented patients' medical needs exceed available resources.

"Health care professionals can be deeply troubled when they encounter situations that seem unfair," says Nancy Berlinger, a Hastings Center scholar who is co-director of the project. "How to provide good care to patients who cannot afford to pay for care is one of those situations. When a patient is also undocumented, the situation becomes even more complex. This project aims to help clinicians and organizations by exploring the difficult questions of how ethical obligations compete with economic constraints, conflicting mandates, and political considerations."

Michael Gusmano, the other co-director of the project, adds, "We will review existing policies and regulations and identify how they shape access to care for undocumented patients.

"We know that some laws and programs are designed to provide access to health care for this population and others explicitly forbid the use of public funds to pay for care for this population," he says. "This creates a complex policy environment that causes difficulties for the patients, health care professionals, and health care organizations. Our project seeks to clarify, as much as possible, these policy choices and identify their consequences."

At a meeting in September in New York, the project's advisory group discussed several questions: Is there a right to health care implicit in the U.S.? In a society with a large immigrant population like the U.S., how are our social values expressed in how we view undocumented patients? What ethical guidance may help health care organizations and state and federal policymakers in a challenging economic environment at a time when the regulations are changing under the ACA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Hastings Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Hastings Center. "Medical safety net for undocumented patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011154455.htm>.
The Hastings Center. (2011, October 12). Medical safety net for undocumented patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011154455.htm
The Hastings Center. "Medical safety net for undocumented patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011154455.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins