The polarizing controversy over undocumented immigrants in our society casts a shadow over all immigrants. Should physicians be aware of their patients’ citizenship status? Is it ethical to offer scarce medical resources and services to “medical tourists”? Is it fair to accept labor (and organs) from immigrants and not offer them the medical care they need? This month's issue explores these and other dilemmas physicians confront in delivering comprehensive treatment to U.S. immigrants
Should a family’s ability to afford follow-up care for a child who needs “miracle surgery” play a role in the physician’s decision to operate? Would the answer change depending on the patient’s immigration status?
We must not pit immigration policy and health care needs against one another. We need better policy on immigration, and that policy should confront immigration at the workplace and at the border—not in the hospital emergency room.