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How to Regulate Medical Tourism (and Why it Matters for Bioethics)

Developing World Bioethics, Vol. 12, pp. 9-20, April 2012

Posted: 18 Mar 2012  

I. Glenn Cohen

Harvard Law School

Date Written: March 16, 2012

Abstract

A growing literature examines descriptive and normative questions about medical tourism such as: How does it operate? What are its effects? Are home country patients or their governments failing in moral duties by engaging in or permitting medical tourism?

By contrast, much less has been written on the regulatory dimension: What might be done about medical tourism if we were convinced that it posed ethical issues and were motivated to act? I shall argue that this kind of regulatory analysis is essential for bioethical analysis of medical tourism.

This article focuses on these regulatory questions more directly, evaluating available methods, restrictions, costs, and benefits of home and destination country unilateral regulatory moves. This article also discusses more briefly multilateral treaty and private sector responses.

Keywords: medical tourism, regulation, bioethics

Suggested Citation

Cohen, I. Glenn, How to Regulate Medical Tourism (and Why it Matters for Bioethics) (March 16, 2012). Developing World Bioethics, Vol. 12, pp. 9-20, April 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2025151

I. Glenn Cohen (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1525 Massachusetts Avenue
Griswold Hall 503
Cambridge, 02138
United States

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