259815 Ethical and professional considerations providing medical evaluation and care to refugee asylum seekers/torture survivors

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 4:50 PM - 5:10 PM

Ramin Asgary, MD, MPH , Dept of Medicine, and the Center of Global Health, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Significant number of asylum seekers live in the US but there are only a few programs that provide them with medical evaluation during asylum process. Additionally, only limited training is available for practitioners who evaluate asylees. Asylees have complex social and medical problems with significant access to healthcare issues. When evaluating and providing care for survivors, both medical providers and their respective institutions face important challenges in regard to medical ethics and professional codes that should not be overlooked. We explore these potential concerns in different categories: accountability toward patient versus clients, competing professional responsibility toward society and judiciary system, inconsistency in survivors claims and risk of fabrication, and ethical concerns in involving trainees in caring for and researching this vulnerable populations. We briefly discuss risk factors including inadequate and insufficient provider training and preparation, varying and often inadequate institutional commitment, asylees significant pre-existing medical and social problems and lack of information, and the broader health and social system issues. We review existing resources to address these concerns and offer suggestions.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
To describe and discuss the ethical challenges and professional responsibilities when providing evaluation and medical care to refugee asylum seekers and torture survivors To list risk factors for these ethical challenges and to formulate strategies to address them

Keywords: Refugees, Ethics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive working experience working for and with asylum seekers/torture survivors. I have performed research in their access to health care and social and health experience in the US. I have initiated this research and drafted and finalized the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.