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How is health-related “deservingness” reckoned? Perspectives from unauthorized im/migrants in Tel Aviv

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  • Willen, Sarah S.

Abstract

Do unauthorized im/migrants have a right to health? Do they deserve health care, or health protection, or access to the social determinants of good health? Are they party to prevailing social contracts, or does their exclusion from mainstream systems of health promotion, prevention, and care “make sense”? Questions like these, which generate considerable attention in multiple spheres of scholarship, policy, and public debate, revolve around an issue that merits substantially greater consideration among social scientists of health: health-related “deservingness.” In addition to putting the issue of health-related deservingness squarely on the map as an object of analysis, this article further argues that we cannot focus solely on those with power, influence, and public voice. Rather, we also must investigate how deservingness is reckoned in relation to – and, furthermore, from the perspectives of – unauthorized im/migrants and members of other groups commonly constructed in public and policy discourse as undeserving. Additionally, we must consider the complicated relationship between universalizing juridical arguments about formal entitlement to health rights, on one hand, and situationally specific, vernacular moral arguments about deservingness, on the other.

Suggested Citation

  • Willen, Sarah S., 2012. "How is health-related “deservingness” reckoned? Perspectives from unauthorized im/migrants in Tel Aviv," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 812-821.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:74:y:2012:i:6:p:812-821
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.06.033
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sen, Amartya, 2008. "Why and How Is Health a Human Right?," Scholarly Articles 3124128, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1998:88:11:1603-1606_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Goldade, Kate & Okuyemi, Kolawole S., 2012. "Deservingness to state health services for South–South migrants: A preliminary study of Costa Rican providers’ views," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 882-886.
    4. Grove, Natalie J. & Zwi, Anthony B., 2006. "Our health and theirs: Forced migration, othering, and public health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 1931-1942, April.
    5. Larchanché, Stéphanie, 2012. "Intangible obstacles: Health implications of stigmatization, structural violence, and fear among undocumented immigrants in France," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 858-863.
    6. Viladrich, Anahí, 2012. "Beyond welfare reform: Reframing undocumented immigrants’ entitlement to health care in the United States, a critical review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 822-829.
    7. Marrow, Helen B., 2012. "Deserving to a point: Unauthorized immigrants in San Francisco’s universal access healthcare model," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 846-854.
    8. Gottlieb, Nora & Filc, Dani & Davidovitch, Nadav, 2012. "Medical humanitarianism, human rights and political advocacy: The case of the Israeli Open Clinic," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 839-845.
    9. Olsen, Jan Abel & Richardson, Jeff & Dolan, Paul & Menzel, Paul, 2003. "The moral relevance of personal characteristics in setting health care priorities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 1163-1172, October.
    10. Chavez, Leo R., 2012. "Undocumented immigrants and their use of medical services in Orange County, California," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 887-893.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Smith, Sarah A., 2016. "Migrant encounters in the clinic: Bureaucratic, biomedical, and community influences on patient interactions with front-line workers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 49-56.
    2. Fleischman, Yonina & Willen, Sarah S. & Davidovitch, Nadav & Mor, Zohar, 2015. "Migration as a social determinant of health for irregular migrants: Israel as case study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 89-97.
    3. Marrow, Helen B., 2012. "Deserving to a point: Unauthorized immigrants in San Francisco’s universal access healthcare model," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 846-854.
    4. repec:eee:socmed:v:187:y:2017:i:c:p:233-242 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Huschke, Susann, 2014. "Performing deservingness. Humanitarian health care provision for migrants in Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 352-359.
    6. Parkinson, Sarah E. & Behrouzan, Orkideh, 2015. "Negotiating health and life: Syrian refugees and the politics of access in Lebanon," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 324-331.
    7. repec:eee:socmed:v:183:y:2017:i:c:p:11-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Viladrich, Anahí, 2012. "Beyond welfare reform: Reframing undocumented immigrants’ entitlement to health care in the United States, a critical review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 822-829.
    9. Madden, Erin Fanning, 2015. "Cultural Health Capital on the margins: Cultural resources for navigating healthcare in communities with limited access," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 145-152.
    10. Vanthuyne, Karine & Meloni, Francesca & Ruiz-Casares, Monica & Rousseau, Cécile & Ricard-Guay, Alexandra, 2013. "Health workers' perceptions of access to care for children and pregnant women with precarious immigration status: Health as a right or a privilege?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 78-85.
    11. repec:eee:socmed:v:219:y:2018:i:c:p:78-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. O'Brien, Rourke L., 2015. "Monetizing illness: The influence of disability assistance priming on how we evaluate the health symptoms of others," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 31-35.

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