The Unethics of Denial of Prophylaxis for Injury and Death
Solomon Moore, reporter from the Los Angeles Times was interviewed on "Reporter's Notebook" segment of the KCRW program "To the Point" titled "Mexico Issues Handbook on Illegal Border-Crossing".
"Since America's crackdown along the Mexican border, immigrants without papers are taking riskier routes to get to their destination. A rising death toll has led the Mexican government to publish an illustrated handbook on crossing the border safely. That guide, which tells migrants to carry enough water, follow railroad tracks and utility lines, and wear the right clothing, has anti-immigrant groups angry, reports the Los Angeles Times' Solomon Moore."
The reason I bring this political issue to this bioethics blog is because there is something unethical in this particular response of the anti-immigrant groups with regard to what amounts to Mexico's attempt to prevent injury and death to individuals
who intend to start out on a potentially unhealthful trip and who cannot be totally prevented from doing this by either Mexico or the United States. There must be some other way to handle the illegal immigration problem other than attacking a humanitarian and beneficent action. I am sure the anti-immigrant groups would find nothing wrong with advice to prevent injuries, illness and death of persons carrying out other activities from obesity to alcoholism to smoking to illegal drug abuse to prostitution. Society attempts to teach illness and injury prevention for these unhealthy or illegal habitual conditions why can't the same approach be applied in the case of those trying to cross the Arizona desert into the U.S. whose motivation for this illegal activity cannot be otherwise fully contained?
To listen to the 7 minute interview, you need RealPlayer and click on the link above.