Medical Tourism: The View from Ten Thousand Feet
Hastings Center Report, p. 11, March-April 2010
3 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2010 Last revised: 7 Aug 2010
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.
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