Theses Master's

Refugees Seeking Asylum Without Healthcare in the United States: Establishing International Guidelines for the Right to Emergency Medical Services

Minhas, Mandeep

Since the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, there have been vague mentions to the access of emergency relief for asylum seekers under the umbrella of healthcare as a human right. The United States has argued in its reply to the Fourth Periodic Review of the U.S. to the United Nations Committee of Human Rights concerning the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that it is promoting access to emergency medical services for asylum seekers through the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). This thesis analyzes the legal framework and definitions of EMTALA in practice and assesses it to prove the policy does not promote a form of human right to healthcare because it does not actually contain both formal and substantive equality. But at the same time, the U.S. has successfully conformed to the international obligations of refugees seeking asylum by codifying the 1951 Convention into the domestic framework. And since 1985 the state has tried to provide emergency medical care to asylum seekers, regardless of their ability to pay, lack of insurance, or immigrant status. Based on this environment, recommendations for the development of international guidelines on emergency medical services and treatment are provided so that a part of healthcare as a human right can be effectively organized and implemented to the state’s domestic framework.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Martin, J. Paul
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
December 13, 2016