Access to Medical Care for Undocumented and Uninsured Immigrants
Community Voices in Medical Ethics is a diverse, Boston-based group of citizens providing feedback on medical ethics policies to the Harvard teaching hospitals. Community Voices and its affiliate Community Ethics Committee give the multiple communities of Boston a voice in the care they rely on. Most recently, the group submitted their report, "Access to Medical Care for Undocumented and Uninsured Immigrants." The report addresses what members of the community think about whether individuals with no formal legal documentation authorizing their residency in the U.S. and no access to any governmental or private program to cover some health care costs should have access to health care that extends beyond emergency room care.
Policy arguments have arisen about whether immigration is a net benefit to the US or a threat. For individuals who reside in the United States without formal legal documentation and without the ability to obtain any kind of medical insurance coverage, access to medical care is severely limited. The ethical aspects of this threat to the health and well-being of marginalized individuals and the moral distress suffered by health care professionals are myriad and troubling.