Are clinicians obliged to disclose their immigration status to patients?

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Abstract

Undocumented immigrants are part of the health care workforce, whether they are eligible to work in the United States through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or other visa programs or permits. This case commentary considers whether-and if so, when-a clinician should reveal her immigration status to patients. After reviewing the literature on clinician self-disclosure, this commentary discusses how sharing immigration status could benefit the patient-particularly if the clinician has an immigration status that could interrupt care-but could also draw the focus away from the patient, possibly eroding trust between patient and physician. Finally, this commentary addresses mental health burdens experienced by undocumented and "DACA-mented" trainees and considers the roles that hospitals, residency programs, and health professions schools should play to support them.

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APA

Bartolo, I. M. D., & Sisti, D. (2019). Are clinicians obliged to disclose their immigration status to patients? AMA Journal of Ethics, 21(1), 38–43. https://doi.org/10.1001/amajethics.2019.38

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