Posts Tagged - ‘arizona immigration law’

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Arizona Immigration Law Puts Doctors In A Bind

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Image: Fibonacci Blue under CC 3.0

According to the Hippocratic Oath, doctors are tasked with treating all patients to the best of their ability, regardless of who they are–or their immigration status. Meanwhile, Arizona recently passed a controversial law that states, among other things, that anybody suspected of harboring an illegal immigrant can be charged a fine.

Some physicians are worried that this will affect their practice, adding yet another bureaucratic worry on top of dealing with health insurance providers and reimbursement. They speculate that they may be required to ask for passports before treating patients.

Moreover, it may shoot a hole through the trust essential to the doctor-patient relationship, because it interferes with confidentiality. Some health conditions may be related to living or working conditions related to being undocumented, but which patients will never reveal for fear of being deported. Illegal immigrants are already forbidden from participating in Arizona health insurance exchanges, or those from any other state. As a result, they may pay for treatment through cash or other means.

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