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An Ethical Analysis of the Mandatory Exclusion of Refugees and Immigrants Who Test HIV-Positive

Author Barry Hoffmaster, Ted Schrecker
Title An Ethical Analysis of the Mandatory Exclusion of Refugees and Immigrants Who Test HIV-Positive
Year 2000
ISBN ISSN 0662651464
Publisher Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS
Publisher URL URL
Place of Publication Ottawa, Ontario
Publication Type Report
Location CRRF
Pages 66
CRRF Identifier Rfg-Ge-BR-4609
Last modified 2016-05-19
English Abstract

On 20 September 2000, Canadian newspapers reported that Health Canada recommended to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that testing all prospective immigrants for HIV, and excluding those testing positive, constitutes "the lowest health risk course of action." Subsequently, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration stated that CIC is indeed considering implementing mandatory HIV testing for all prospective immigrants to Canada, and excluding all those testing positive (with the exception of refugees and family-class sponsored immigrants) from immigrating to Canada on both public health and "excessive cost" grounds. This proposal was met with vehement opposition from a broad range of organizations and individuals. In particular, they pointed out that, as stated in the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights (UNHCHR/UNAIDS, 1998: para 105), "[t]here is no public health rationale for restricting liberty of movement or choice of residence on the ground of HIV status." At the time of going to print, no final decision had been made about whether mandatory HIV testing for all immigrants would be implemented. There are sound ethical, legal, and public policy arguments against imposing mandatory testing and excluding those who test HIV-positive.