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Call for Papers - Migration, Health & Ethics

Closing Date for Submissions: 24 October 2016

Guest Editors: Katja Kuehlmeyer, Corinna Klingler, Dennis Odukoya

An increase in international migration over the last decade has contributed to the emergence of various challenges for the provision of public healthcare. At the country level for example, challenges include determining how to conduct migration-sensitive research and public health surveillance, how to manage access to healthcare in contexts of scarce resources, and the justifiability of the inclusion or exclusion of specific migrant groups. At the level of health systems within countries, questions arise regarding the appropriate distribution of responsibility for developing and implementing support structures to overcome barriers for both migrant patients and physicians. Finally, at the individual level, communication and shared decision-making between providers and patients can be complicated by language barriers and value differences. Migrant patients and physicians might additionally struggle with discrimination and limited system knowledge. These challenges have an ethical dimension because they concern the well-being and self-determination of patients and providers and pose questions of equitable access to, and fair distribution of, healthcare resources. Additionally, they warrant further reflection on medical decision-making in cases of value conflict.

Therefore, we are pleased to announce a thematic issues of Bioethics on the ethical and policy challenges in healthcare associated with international migration. Papers presenting empirical research are encouraged, but they should also include theoretical and/or normative reflections. Papers can address, but are not limited to the following questions:

Should data on migrant health be collected and reported, and if yes what is an ethically appropriate way to do so? What terms, classifications and categories should be used to capture and describe migration and migrant health?

To what extent should migrants be granted access to public healthcare services? Is it justifiable to limit access to (certain) migrant groups and if yes, for what reasons?

How should responsibility for overcoming access barriers or implementing support structures for migrated patients and providers be distributed?

What is an ethically appropriate way to address language barriers in healthcare? Can migrant patients or physicians be legitimately considered personally responsible for organizing an adequate translation service?

How should healthcare institutions deal with diversity in patients and personnel? How should divergent values be dealt with in complex treatment decisions (e.g. at the end of life)?

The guest editors welcome early communication of brief proposals and/or abstracts by email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Manuscripts should be submitted to Bioethics online at Please ensure that you select manuscript type 'Special Issue' and state that it is for the “Migration, Health & Ethics”, Special Issue when prompted.  Full contact details should be uploaded in a separate electronic file. We discourage papers of more than 7500 words. For further submission requirements, format and referencing style, refer to the Author Guidelines on the Bioethics website: