Flourishing: Migration and Health in Social Context.
Nasima Selim, Hansjörg Dilger, Emily Mendenhall, Miriam Magaña Lopez, Shahanoor Akter Chowdhury, Sarah Willen
Health and the capacity to flourish are deeply intertwined. For members of vulnerable migrant groups, systemic inequalities and structural forms of marginalisation and exclusion create health risks, impede access to needed care and interfere with the ability to achieve one’s full potential. Migrants often have limited access to healthcare, and they frequently are portrayed as less deserving than others of the resources needed to lead a healthy and flourishing life. Under these circumstances, clinicians, healthcare institutions and global health organisations have a moral and ethical obligation to consider the role they can—and do—play in either advancing or impeding migrants’ health and their capacity to flourish. Drawing on case studies from three world regions, we propose concrete steps clinicians and health institutions can take in order to better serve migrant patients. These include recommendations that can help improve understanding of the complex circumstances of migrants’ lives, strengthen collaboration between care providers and non-medical partners and transform the social, economic and structural circumstances that impede flourishing and harm health. Developing new strategies to promote the flourishing of precarious migrants can strengthen our collective ability to re-envision and redesign health systems and structures to value the health, dignity and bodily integrity of all patients—especially the most vulnerable—and to promote flourishing for all.