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, with some exceptions. This is referred to as medical inadmissibility. In this talk, Dr. Bisaillon examines impediments to migration and mobility produced through health related policies, and discusses broader implications and experiences of medical inadmissibility. This is an inquiry at the “medico-legal borderlands”: interdisciplinary spaces of professional practice and investigation where the institutions of law and policy, medicine and health care, and social services and immigration overlap.
About the speaker
Dr. Laura Bisaillon is a 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 three-time 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 is currently under review with the University of British Columbia Press. Dr. Bisaillon’s broader work examines medico-legal borderlands in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran and Romania.