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First do no harm

3 June 2010

Maggie’s Madness is covering the Anastacio Hernandez Rojas saga, and there is no way I can write on everything (nor do I want to), but the medical questions surrounding his death come at the same time medical questions are being raised about other immigration law procedures.

The American Academy of Family Physicians; Asian Health Services Community Health Center ; Association of Clinicians for the Underserved;  National Physicians Alliance; Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare; Doctors for Global Health, Board of Directors; Physicians for Human Rights; and the United States Chapter of the International Society for the Psychological Treatments of the Schizophrenias and other Psychoses (ISPS-US) were co-signatories to a statement condemning Arizona’s “papers please” law, which will, in these groups’ opinion, interfere with their ability to practice medicine.

Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, President of the National Physicians Alliance, asks “Why would undocumented immigrants, or legal immigrants without their papers handy, go to the emergency room or a healthcare center that can be policed?”.

Being an accident victim, or injured in a serious crime, is a matter of legitimate police inquiry, and that “lawful contact” under which police officers, if they don’t want to be sued by private parties, would have to inquire about one’s immigration status if they had a reasonable suspicion that one might be not legally in the country.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 3 June 2010 6:49 pm

    There was an error in the original press release about the medical organizations’ condemnation of the Arizona immigration law. The American Academy of Family Physicians was not a signatory to the statement. The statement, with accurate signatory organizations, is available at

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