Medical Tourism: The View from Ten Thousand Feet

Hastings Center Report, p. 11, March-April 2010

Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 10-34

3 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2010 Last revised: 7 Aug 2010

I. Glenn Cohen

Harvard Law School

Abstract

This short paper for one of the world's leading bioethics journals introduces readers to medical tourism - the travel of patients from their home country to another for the primary purpose of seeking medical treatment. The paper divides medical tourism into three types: (1) Medical tourism for services illegal in both the patient's home and destination countries (e.g., organ transplant tourism); (2) Medical tourism for services that are illegal in the patient's home country but legal in the destination country (e.g., some forms of fertility tourism, euthanasia tourism, experimental drug tourism); (3) Medical tourism for services legal in both the home and destination country (e.g., traveling abroad for a heart valve or hip replacement). The paper then discusses several difficult ethical and regulatory challenges posed by each type of medical tourism. This paper outlines my larger research project on medical tourism, one piece of which (focusing on patient-protective concerns) can be found here http://ssrn.com/abstract=1523701.

Suggested Citation

Cohen, I. Glenn, Medical Tourism: The View from Ten Thousand Feet. Hastings Center Report, p. 11, March-April 2010; Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 10-34. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1650616

I. Glenn Cohen (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

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Griswold Hall 503
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United States

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