CANCELLED: Mobilities, Medications, and Institutional Mazes: Ethical and Practical Dilemmas for People with Illness and Disability

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Photo credit: Pxhere/Creative Commons

If the late Stephen Hawking had wanted to settle in Canada, he would likely have been denied. This is because he was disabled. Federal immigration law and policy exclude people with illness and disability on medical grounds. This is referred to as medical inadmissibility. Dr. Bisaillon examines impediments to migration and mobility produced through health related policies at federal and both inter- and intra-provincial levels. These lines of inquiry are conceptually connected by their location at the “medico-legal borderlands”: interdisciplinary spaces of professional practice and intellectual inquiry where the institutions of law and policy, medicine and health care, and social services and immigration co-exist and overlap. Examining both the broader social implications, and lived experiences, this talk examines medical inadmissibility in Canadian federal immigration law alongside the gaps in provincial health and social care, and pharmaceutical coverage, that people with illness or disability face.

About the speaker

Dr. Laura Bisaillon is a leading social scientist of medical inadmissibility and HIV-related policy in Canadian immigration law. She is Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society at the University of Toronto. Her research asks questions at the “medico-legal borderlands” and illuminates how state interests affect health care processes, provider practices, and individuals in their roles as patients and migrants. Her award winning dissertation has been reformulated into a book, “Screening and Screaming in Exile: Medical Examination and the Immigration Health Work of People with HIV”, currently under review with the University of British Columbia Press. Dr. Bisaillon’s broader work examines medico-legal borderlands in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran and most recently Romania.

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